The number of overseas trips made to Ireland rose just 1.8% last year, according to new data from the Central Statistics Office.

In total 10.808 million visitors came here during the 12 months, compared to 10.616 a year earlier.

Those travellers from abroad stayed a combined 70.4m nights, down 0.7% on 2018.

The tourists spent a total of €6.867bn in the Irish economy during the year, down 0.1% on the same period the year before.

Fares accounted for €5.101bn of that, a drop of 0.9%.

The small increase in visitor numbers and reduction in spending is a consequence of lower volumes of tourists coming from the UK as a result of Brexit uncertainty.

The Irish tourist industry is facing major disruption as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

During the final three months of the year, the volume of overseas trips to Ireland by non-residents did increase 0.5%, to 2.425m.

The number of nights spend here by visitors was 0.4% lower though compared to the last quarter of 2018.

The average time spent here by foreign visitors who came during the last four months of the year was 6.2 nights compared to 6.3 nights a year earlier.

Earnings from overseas tourists during the period were €1.378bn, down 1.6%.

Trips by Irish residents travelling abroad rose 2.8% over the quarter compared to the same four months in 2018.

On average, Irish people who went away during the period travelled for 6.5 nights.