Official figures show that the number of overseas visitors to Ireland last year was the lowest since 2005.

The Central Statistics Office said there were just over 6.9 million trips to Ireland last year, a fall of more than 900,000 or 11.6% compared with 2008.

A slump in the numbers travelling from Britain accounted for most of the fall.

There were 615,000 fewer trips from Britain last year, a drop of almost 16%. Visits from the rest of Europe fell 8.7%, though there was a smaller fall of 2.4% from North America.

Irish people made just over seven million trips abroad last year, down 10.5% from 2008. This was the lowest figure since 2006.