There was an 11.3% increase in the number of trips made to Ireland between December and February when compared to the same period a year ago, according to the Central Statistics Office.

Almost 1.31 million trips were made to the country during the three month period, according to the figures, an increase of around 133,000 compared to December 2012 – February 2013.

Nearly half of the trips, 643,000, were made by residents of Britain – a 14.1% increase on the comparable period 12 months ago.

The number of visits by residents of other European countries was also higher at 407,100, a 3.5% increase on the previous year.

The number of trips by residents of North America saw one of the biggest increases in percentage terms, however, up 16.7% to 165,300.

Meanwhile, the number of overseas trips made by Irish residents during the three month period was 0.7% higher at over 1.14 million when compared to the same quarter a year ago.