Published Thursday, 12 April 2012
Tourism Minister Arlene Foster has welcomed the boost for the industry. (© Getty)
An estimated £368million was spent in the region by the visitors last year.
The number of tourists who stayed at least one night in NI also increased in 2011 to 1.5million which resulted in a 4% rise on 2010's figures.
Tourism Minister Arlene Foster has welcomed the boost.
The DUP MLA said: "These figures prove that overseas visitors want to come to see all that Northern Ireland has to offer and when they do come they spend money and help boost the economy.
"It is really encouraging to see that so many tourists visited Northern Ireland last year and bodes well for 2012 when there is a jam-packed programme of exciting events and openings taking place."
Looking ahead to planned events, Ms Foster said: "Overseas visitors and local people can now look forward to the Irish Open in Portrush, the opening of the new Giant's Causeway visitors centre as well as many other events taking place across Northern Ireland.
"From the International Beckett festival in Fermanagh, through to the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in Londonderry, there will be something for everyone to enjoy."
She continued: "Next year too promises to be another amazing year with Londonderry taking pride of place as the UK City of Culture and the World Police and Fire Games.
"This is our place and our time to showcase Northern Ireland."