The tourism industry in Ireland is now worth €8 billion, reveals the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC). There was an increase of 10% in holiday visitors, while business visitors and those coming to visit friends and relatives (VFR) were up 12%. The ITIC predicts that 2017 had a positive outlook despite challenges.This happens to be a nine percent increase, or almost €600m more compared to what was spent in 2015. Irish air and sea carriers earned a further €1.5 billion from tourists, while many Irish people holidayed at home, generating €1.75 billion. A further €300 million was earned from visitors from Northern Ireland. According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the number of overseas visitors grew by 10% to 8.8 million, the highest number on record with all four top source markets recording significant growth.The industry has surpassed a severe record, as overseas tourists spent €4.7 billion in 2016. Based on the predictions by ITIC the domestic market, for people holidaying within Ireland is expected to pick up even further as personal finances improve. The confederation praised the government’s move to maintain the nine percent VAT rate on tourism services.