There was a 7.3% rise in the number of trips to Ireland by residents of other countries in the first three months of the year, according to the Central Statistics Office.

More than 1.34 million trips were made between January and March of this year, according to the figures, compared to just over 1.25 million in the first quarter of 2013.

The number of nights spent in the country by these visitors also rose during the period, albeit at a slower rate; up 5.3% to 8.9 million.

This meant that the average duration of a trip to Ireland fell slightly in the first quarter of this year – standing at 6.6 nights compared to 6.7 nights a year ago.

Despite the increase in travellers to the country between January and March, the amount earned from these tourists fell – down €6m to €682m.

Meanwhile the number of overseas trips made by Irish residents in the same three month period fell by 4.6% to 1.15 million.

The duration of these stays also fell – down from an average of 7.3 nights per trip to 7 nights.

These factors combined led to a sharp reduction in expenditure on overseas trips – which fell 9.8% to €747m in the first quarter of the year.