New figures show that more visitors are travelling to Northern Ireland from the Republic, mainland Europe and North America.

The Northern Ireland Tourist Board said the overall number of visits last year dropped slightly by 1% from 1.98 million in 2004 to 1.96 million.

However, the total number of nights spent by people visiting Northern Ireland rose by 13% from 8.50 million to 9.57 million and they also spent 13% more, with visitor revenue rising to €512m.

The statistics revealed a 7% drop in the number of tourists coming from the rest of the UK from just over 1.4 million in 2004 to just over 1.3 million.