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Ireland Tourism Statistics 1995-2023
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- Tourism Statistics
- Ireland tourism statistics for 2020 was 4,160,000,000.00 , a 71.91% decline from 2019.
- Ireland tourism statistics for 2019 was 14,808,000,000.00 , a 3.06% decline from 2018.
- Ireland tourism statistics for 2018 was 15,276,000,000.00 , a 6.87% increase from 2017.
- Ireland tourism statistics for 2017 was 14,294,000,000.00 , a 13% increase from 2016.
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Tourism in Ireland
Development of the tourism sector in ireland from 1995 to 2019.
Revenues from tourism
All data for Ireland in detail
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- Tourism and Travel Quarter 4 2019
- Tourism and Travel Quarter 3 2019
- Tourism and Travel Quarter 2 2019
- Tourism and Travel Quarter 1 2019
- Tourism And Travel
- All-Island Tourism Statistics Liaison Group
Statistical tables at a glance
- Overseas Trips to and from Ireland by Reason for Journey, Quarter and Statistic
- Number of Bednights Spent in Ireland by Non-residents on Overseas Trips by Type of Accommodation Use
Quarter 4 2019
Overseas trips by irish residents increased by 2.8% for the period october to december 2019.
Overseas trips to Ireland:
- The number of overseas trips to Ireland by non-residents increased from 2.413 million in Quarter 4 2018 to 2.425 million trips in Quarter 4 2019 (+0.5%). See table 1.
- The number of nights spent in Ireland by overseas travellers decreased by 0.4% in Quarter 4 2019 compared to the same period of the previous year, from 15.134 million to 15.079 million. See table 4.
- The average duration of overseas trips to Ireland decreased from 6.3 nights in Quarter 4 2018 to 6.2 nights in Quarter 4 2019. See table 6.
- Total tourism and travel earnings from overseas travellers to Ireland decreased by 1.6% between Quarter 4 2018 and Quarter 4 2019, decreasing from €1,400 million to €1,378 million. When fares are excluded, total expenditure decreased from €1,047 million to €1,001 million, a decrease of 4.4% over the period. See table 7.
Trips by Irish residents overseas:
- In Quarter 4 2019, the number of overseas trips made by Irish residents increased by 2.8%, from 1.858 million trips in Quarter 4 2018 to 1.910 million. See table 8.
- The average duration of overseas trips made by Irish residents rose from 6.0 nights in Quarter 4 2018 to 6.5 nights in Quarter 4 2019 See table 9.
- Total expenditure (including fares) by Irish residents on trips overseas increased by 6.7%, up from €1,517 million in Quarter 4 2018 to €1,618 million in Quarter 4 2019. Total overseas tourism and travel expenditure exclusive of payments to Irish carriers grew 7.0%, from €1,223 million to €1,308 million, over the same periods. See table 10.
2019 Annual Results
Overseas trips to Ireland:
- In 2019, a total of 10.808 million overseas trips were made to Ireland compared to 10.616 million trips in 2018 (+1.8%). See table 1 .
- Overseas travellers to Ireland spent a total of 70.4 million nights in the country in 2019 compared to 70.9 million nights the previous year (-0.7%). See table 4a.
- Overseas travel to Ireland generated earnings of €6,867 million in 2019 compared to €6,874 million in 2018 (-0.1%). When fares are excluded, total expenditure in 2019 was €5,101 million, a decrease of 0.9% on 2018. See table 7.
- Irish residents made a total of 8.814 million overseas trips in 2019 compared to 8.276 million trips in 2018 (+6.5%). These trips lasted an average of 7.4 nights in 2019 compared to 7.2 nights in 2018 (+2.8%). See tables 8 and 9.
- Total tourism and travel expenditure on overseas travel by Irish residents increased by 15.2% to €6,497 million in 2019. When fares are included, total expenditure by Irish residents on overseas trips rose from €7,062 million in 2018 to €7,914 million (+12.1%). See table 10.
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IRISH TOURISM: RECOVERY & OUTLOOK
Introduction, 2022 – rapid recovery, 2023 – a challenging year, connectivity restored, risks facing irish tourism, market scenarios & projections, 10 january 2023.
As we enter a new year it is difficult to gauge the mood of Irish tourism businesses – raise a glass to the fact that 2022 was far better than anticipated or nervously take a sip as to what 2023 holds in store?
Certainly, compared is to this time last year – when Covid was rampant and the industry was shut – things are much more positive. Since travel restrictions were finally lifted back in Q1 2022 the speed and strength of the recovery in tourism numbers to Ireland has exceeded expectations and the surge in demand has surpassed most industry projections. The Irish Tourism Industry Confederation (ITIC) estimates that 7 million international tourists came to Ireland in 2022, a 73% recovery compared to the pre-pandemic peak of 2019. Not an inconsiderable feat considering there were no international holiday-makers in the intervening 2 years. Pent-up demand, deferred bookings and accumulated savings all boosted business as supply struggled to meet the surge in demand.
However hopes of difficulties being in the rear-view mirror have quickly evaporated with inflation and particularly energy prices soaring to unsustainable levels along with a much weaker global economy. This allied to a sharp reduction in tourism accommodation as a result of Government policy means that there is considerable unease about the outlook for 2023 with fears that continued recovery will be threatened. This bulletin by ITIC offers a deep dive into tourism’s recovery last year and its outlook for the year ahead. It looks at the restoration of connectivity to Ireland and also outlines the hopes and expectations for key source markets. ITIC analysis suggest that full recovery is not expected until 2026 and in this context it is critical that pro-tourism policies from Government are pursued including the extension of the 9% VAT rate and the amelioration of supply bottlenecks.
2022 – A YEAR OF RAPID RECOVERY
- A more rapid than expected recovery of passenger traffic to/from Ireland on lifting of travel restrictions.
- International tourist visits estimated at close to 7m, 27% down on 2019.
- Tourist recovery boosted by pent up demand, accumulated savings, deferred bookings and rapid reinstatement of airlines services.
- Rapid recovery not without challenges – airport congestion, labour shortages, accommodation and car rental supply issues, and rising prices .
- An atypical year with changes in pattern and composition of demand.
International travel to & from Ireland reopened in 2022
As the spread and risk of COVID infection receded and travel restrictions were lifted international traffic rebounded on the back of pent up demand, high levels of personal savings and a resilient airline industry. The result was a surge in travel which far surpassed projections in the speed of recovery and the depth of demand. As a result many airports across Europe, and other travel providers, were swamped by demand volumes.
International travel to and from Ireland experienced a rapid recovery, led by outbound demand of Irish residents. Over the earlier months of the year the dominance of Irish originating demand was obvious as travel restrictions were relaxed. Total travel volumes in Q1 were just below two thirds of volumes over the same period in 2019, Q2 passenger traffic had recovered to 86% and continued to build strongly to reach 90% of 2019 levels in Q3. Inbound tourist arrivals lagged the speed and rate of recovery of Irish outbound travel.
Overseas tourists rebounded to 73% of 2019 levels
An estimated 7 million overseas tourists visited Ireland, compared to 9.7 million in 2019. This excludes day visitors and transfer traffic.
The speed and strength of the recovery in travel to Ireland, in common with most other destinations, far exceeded expectations. The surge in demand surpassed most industry projections, leading to some bottlenecks in international travel.
Note: ITIC estimates on tourist volumes are provided in the absence of official CSO survey sourced data on tourist volumes, value, and tourist profiles, including purpose of visit, length of stay, accommodation used, etc.
The early months of the year were subject to ongoing travel restrictions, with Ireland adopting a more conservative approach to the easing of restrictions. The pattern of recovery of tourist arrivals very much mirrored the lifting of testing requirements, with USA and Canada relaxing requirements in June providing a boost to transatlantic travel. A slow start to the year led to a progressive build up to a return of overseas visitors from Q2 leading to a particularly strong demand in the peak months of Q3, with the momentum extending into the later months. All indications point to a resilient holiday season demand in December.
Ireland’s robust recovery owes much to Ryanair’s aggressive expansion of service on short haul routes and Aer Lingus’ restoration of transatlantic routes and capacity. As markets re-opened for travel carriers reported a narrowing of the booking window for travel, with an increase in short lead time for near future travel.
Frustratingly the CSO has not reported on tourism data since before the pandemic. As a result the type of visitor, expenditure profile, and duration of stay are all lacking. Nonetheless ITIC research suggests that the composition of post-pandemic demand for travel to and from Ireland showed a number of noticeable shifts in the relative share by purpose of travel.
- VFR visits and homecomings were amongst the first to resume as international travel reopened. Over the first half of the year such visits accounted for a more significant share of arrivals, estimated to have been the dominant reason for travel in the early months of 2022 as travel restrictions were lifted.
- Holiday or leisure trips rebounded as the summer season approached releasing pent up demand, with high levels of demand for peak season travel. Demand from North America proved to be more buoyant than from other markets, driven by a high proportion of deferred bookings together with a sharp appreciation in the value of the US dollar. Recovery from mainland Europe and Britain was driven by main holidays. Travel from emerging markets in the AustralAsia-Pacific region, amongst the last markets to reopen for international travel, was largely dependent on the diaspora and repeat visitors. The atypical year for international travel is not surprising that main holidays accounted for a bigger share in this category with additional holidays slower to recover mirroring in part the resumption of events and activities in Ireland.
- Business travel recovery has lagged other segments. Corporate travel has been slower to resume with business trips from Britain, Ireland’s top source market, reported to be slowest to recover post pandemic and post Brexit.
Restoration of connectivity- key driver of Ireland’s recovery
Airline capacity operated to/from Ireland reached close to 90% of 2019 capacity over the summer season schedule, with the current winter schedule matching pre-pandemic levels on many routes.
Recovery was strongest in June across most markets, except North America which reached peak recovery in July and August. Overall recovery was most marked on mainland European routes reaching 95%, followed by transatlantic routes at 86% and routes to Britain at 85%. Reinstatement of routes and capacity on east bound long haul routes lagged to reach 80% of 2019 levels.
A marked characteristic of the restoration on European routes was a surge in capacity on offer to Mediterranean sun resort destinations to cater for outbound demand.
Ryanair, the market leader on short haul routes to/from Ireland, gained market share following a speedy restoration of capacity and aggressive marketing of low fares, especially to the outbound sun holiday market. Ryanair stimulation in selected markets saw airport traffic in Ireland coming close to full recovery (-5.9%) in October – amongst the top performing air markets in Europe. (check CSO air stats for Oct.)
Aer Lingus, the market leader on transatlantic routes, reinstated services and capacity as the market re-opened, catering to the surge in demand for travel to Europe from the USA.
Foreign network carriers serving Ireland restored service and capacity over the course of the year providing connectivity to all the major hub airports in Europe and the Middle East.
Ireland’s return of airline capacity exceeded the overall recovery by European airlines which reached 82% of the pre-pandemic level in July.
Ireland is currently enjoying a bumper winter schedule with capacity on most routes back to or exceeding pre-pandemic levels. Ryanair is operating record schedules from Dublin, Cork, Shannon and Ireland West airports including a number of new routes. Aer Lingus is serving 12 gateways in USA & Canada on up to 150 departures each week, while maintaining its short haul route network. International airlines serving Ireland are operating a winter schedule close to pre-pandemic levels.
IATA, the representative organisation for global aviation, estimate that air traffic forecast for Ireland is set to match 2019 levels by 2024. Of course air traffic does not equate to inbound tourism volume and ITIC estimate that full tourism recovery for Ireland will lag this.
Recovery not without its challenges
In common with many other destinations Ireland experienced a number of challenges in 2022 due to the fast rebound of demand for international travel. These have included airport congestion, labour shortages across all service businesses, car hire supply, and rising prices.
In addition Ireland experienced a number of specific supply-side issues, most notably a reduction in available stock of visitor accommodation. A number of properties, mainly hotels, were contracted to cater for the influx of refugees from Ukraine and asylum seekers from other parts of the world.
Despite significant accommodation and staffing shortages, and inflationary pressures, initial findings suggest that Ireland retained its value proposition despite domestic media coverage of excessive pricing by a minority of providers. Demand for hotel stays grew over the year as travel recovered. Peak season demand saw average hotel occupancy rate top 80% in each month between June and September. The domestic market remained the primary source of demand for hotels in Ireland. Overseas guests accounted for just under 30% of all stays between January and September 2022.
2022 an atypical year
Despite robust recovery, 2022 has been far from a typical tourism year. The extraordinary rebound of post pandemic demand does not necessarily point to a progressive trajectory of recovery into 2023, especially in light of the rising costs of energy and food and an economic slowdown, if not recession, across Ireland’s key tourism source markets.
2023 – A CHALLENGING YEAR AHEAD
Situation analysis – an overview, external context.
- Resilient travel sentiment
- Pent-up demand for travel
- COVID risk decreasing
- Reopening of markets
- Economic downturn/recession
- Conflict in Ukraine continues
- Inflationary pressures/ reduction in disposable incomes
- Higher travel costs
- Good destination appeal & intent in key markets
- Public and private product investment
- Increased connectivity
- Marketing capacity
- Reduced carrying capacity
- Risks to competitive positioning
- Labour /skills shortages
- Rising input costs and scheduled VAT increase
The Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022 has resulted in immense societal and economic turbulence, geopolitical tensions and the largest displacement of Europeans since World War II.
The war has also imperilled global economic recovery from the impact of the pandemic. It has triggered the biggest energy price shock since the 1970s, threatening food supplies and other supply chains, resulting in inflation reaching a 20 year high.
Latest estimates put the number of Ukrainians fleeing the war at over 5 million across Europe, not counting over 2 million entering Russia. As at December 11th, Ireland has welcomed 67,448 Ukrainians, with arrivals averaging just over 1,000 per week over recent months. Ireland, under the European Union’s Temporary Protection Directive, has accommodated more people per capita than other European states excluding Germany and countries bordering Ukraine.
The World Health Organisation estimate that between 2 and 3 million could be displaced in the coming months as Russia attempts to ‘weaponise winter’ by targeting attacks on energy and water infrastructure in populated urban areas.
Prospects of a diplomatic solution to the conflict in the immediate future currently appear remote. The outlook, from most analysts, is for a protracted conflict in 2023.
- Economies in Europe and the U.K. are likely to contract.
- U.S. economy expected to barely avoid recession with 0.5% growth.
- Emerging market economies projected to recover modestly.
- Ireland’s economic outlook is more positive than most.
Outlook for the global economy
The global economy is facing mounting challenges amidst the largest energy market shock since the 1970s and the cost-of-living crisis for many households from rising inflation pressures. However, the global economy is expected to avoid a recession next year but is facing a sharp slowdown.
2023 is likely to see weaker growth, a lowering of the rate of inflation and the end of rate hikes, with the U.S. narrowly missing a recession, Europe and the UK contracting and Asia offering green shoots for growth. World economic growth is set to slow from 3.1% in 2022 to 2.2% in 2023 before accelerating to 2.7% in 2024. The global slowdown was hitting economies unevenly, with Europe bearing the brunt as Russia’s war in Ukraine drives an energy price spike and hits business activity.
Inflation has soared to levels not seen for many decades, despite Central Banks raising interest rates to curb inflation. As prices and interest rates surge, real term earnings or wages are failing to keep pace in many counties resulting in deep cuts in consumer purchasing power. The good news is the rise in inflation has somewhat abated in the closing months of 2022.
The interplay of inflation and central-bank intervention will ultimately shape the story of economic growth for 2023. The last 12 months have seen the fastest increase in the US Federal funds rate since 1981, and the fastest increase in European Central Bank (ECB) rates since the establishment of the Eurozone. The key to recovery in consumer consumption is containment of inflation with recent indications that Central Banks intervention in raising interest rates may be slowing inflation.
The “world is facing substantial headwinds and substantial risks over the horizon” and “countries also need to take bold steps to address some of the longer-term challenges to lay the foundation for a stronger and more resilient economy.”
Secretary General, Mathias Cormann, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) November 22, 2022
With excessive post-COVID consumer demand and the battle against inflation continuing to weigh on growth in 2023, global GDP growth will top out at just 2.2%, narrowly defying recession, but lower than the estimated 3% growth expected for 2022.
Inflation, economic contraction, higher interest rates and higher energy prices are expected to see consumers curtailing their discretionary spending, including travel. The early part of 2023 is expected to be softer than the demand trend experienced in the latter half of 2022. The extent of the slowdown may well be determined by the impact of energy costs and the severity of the winter months. The summer months could shape up well as research suggests that consumers are firmly committed to resuming travel and may prioritise discretionary spending on holidays.
Euro Zone – A challenging year ahead
Latest key indicators.
- The eurozone economy is likely to fall into a recession this winter into spring. GDP is expected to grow by just 0.3% in 2023 before recovering to expand by 1.4% in 2024. Germany, the lead economy, is expected to contract by 0.3% in 2023.
- Inflation rate slowed to 9.2% in December as energy price surge cools.
- Despite signs that inflation is easing the ECB is unlikely to halt further interest rate hikes, before mid-year.
Real GDP growth is forecast to grow by just 0.3% in 2023 on the back of the ongoing energy crisis and tightening monetary policy. GDP growth in 2024 is forecast to resume with a consensus estimate of 1.4%.
Of the three biggest EU economies, Germany is forecast to return the third worst-performance within the G20 countries (-0.3%), while Italy (0.2%) and France (0.6%) are likely to post modest growth, according to the OECD.
Inflation: Headline inflation dropped for the second consecutive month to 9.2% year-on-year in December to 9.2%, down from 10.1% in November and the October peak at 10.6%. Energy continued to represent the biggest driver, but down from 34.9% in November to 25.7% in December, as natural gas price continues to decline from its peak in August, according to the latest figures.
Interest rates: the European Central Bank, driven by inflation concerns, interest rates four times in 2022 to its current 2% level. The bank is expected to continue to raise rates, possibly to 3% by mid-year “Interest rates will still have to rise significantly at a steady pace” to ensure that they can return inflation to the 2% target in a “timely” manner, according to an ECB statement.
Unemployment: at a record 6.6% low, jobs filled and hours worked are ahead of pre-pandemic levels on the back of increased labour market participation. While there may be some weakening of employment across the euro zone, any increase in unemployment is expected to be marginal.
The euro: A combination of weak economic growth, the war in Ukraine and the tardy response of the European Bank in raising interest rates saw the euro devalue in the latter half of 2022. The decline in value was most marked against the US dollar, with the currency finishing up the year down 6%, having earlier been traded at close to parity. The euro gained marginally in value against sterling over the year.
Energy prices remains among the significant downside risks to economic recovery – the dominant component of inflation for businesses and consumers. The outlook could become more challenging in the latter part of winter into spring in the face of possible gas shortages and higher prices.
The short term outlook is likely to see high inflation and low consumer sentiment impacting private consumption. Inflation is expected to stay high due to the pass-through of energy and producer prices to consumers, the depreciation of the euro and rising wage pressures, but gradually moderate over the next two years.
Looking specifically at Germany, Europe’s largest economy, the country has a high dependency on Russian energy. Latest data showed inflation dropping from 10% in November to 8.6% in December. The economy recorded a 0.4% growth in Q3’22, slightly more than expected, leading some economists to predict the recession will not be as bad as initially feared. However, Germany’s dependence on exports, continued energy price volatility, and reduction in incomes and saving dampening private consumption, remain persistent risks to economic recovery. While the labour market remains robust amid intensifying shortages, annual negotiated pay rose only by 2.9% in the second quarter of 2022, resulting in a real wage decrease of 4.4%.
High inflation in Germany is reducing real incomes and savings, dampening private consumption. Latest data shows consumer confidence inching up after a long period of decline although still a long way off historical levels.
USA – Avoiding recession, a soft landing?
- Economy shows signs of cooling, as retail sale and manufacturing data dip, even as the labour market holds strong.
- The US Fed signalled, despite recent indications that inflation may have peaked, the battle is far from over.
- The world’s largest economy could narrowly avoid recession with GDP growth slowing to 0.5% in 2023 from 1.8% in 2022, before rising to 1.0% in 2024.
Americans expect worsening economy in 2023, as one third say inflation is causing them major strain, according to a recent WSJ poll. A ‘soft landing’ is a plausible outcome where job openings are falling while unemployment remains low, although the risk of a recession remains.
Inflation: The latest consumer price index (CPI) showed prices rising annually by 7.1% in November, a continuation of a gradual decline from a 40 year high of 9.1% in June. Forecasts suggest that inflation could fall to just 2.4% by the end of 2023.
Interest rates: The Federal Reserve continued its battle against inflation by raising its benchmark interest rate by a half percentage point to a targetted range between 4.25% and 4.5% in mid-December to a 15 year high. The combination of slowing growth and cooling inflation is likely to prompt the Fed to curb its rate hiking, possibly reaching a peak of 4.5% to 4.75% in early 2023 and held throughout the year before a steady decline in 2024.
Employment: Jobs growth has been steady in 2022 adding 4.5 million jobs, although with some shifts within sectors most sensitive to borrowing costs. Wages are 5.1% higher than a year ago, a bigger increase than expected, according to the latest data for November from the US Department of Labour. Despite the labour market cooling in December, as hirings slowed, unemployment rate has ticked down to 3.5%, back to the pre-pandemic level. However, the Fed project that unemployment could rise d in 2024 and 2025 as economic growth falters or nudges into recession.
US Dollar: The currency gained 8% on a basket of currencies over the year, the best appreciation of the dollar in seven years. The dollar hovered around parity against the euro for several weeks in November, before finishing the year at $1.068 against the euro.
The UK – on the brink of recession
- The UK is facing the deepest and longest recession of all the G7 nations – a four quarter recession up to mid-2023.
- Consumer prices annual inflation slowed to 10.7% in November.
- Bank of England increased interest rates 9 times in 2022 to 3.5% in December, with signals that it could peak at 4.5% in 2023.
- The £ Sterling is expected to stabilise, if not appreciate, against the euro in 2023.
The UK is grappling with twin threats of rampant inflation and weaker to negative economic growth, and is forecast to be the second weakest performer of the world’s big economies in 2023. The UK’s poor performance is the result of a combination of a 41-year-high hike in the cost of living, rising interest rates, post- pandemic and Brexit impacts, government action to bring down borrowing and debt, and the market turbulence of the September budget.
GDP: The economy is forecast to shrink in 2023 – a contraction in GDP in the last quarter 2022 would put the economy officially in recession after a 0.2% contraction in the third quarter. December saw a fifth consecutive month of contraction in UK factory output to a 31 month low, according to the S&P’s latest manufacturing purchasing managers index. The latest trend data points to a mild rather than sever recession with GDP contracting over four quarters ending in ending in the middle of 2023. Forecasters differ on the depth and length and depth of the recession with the UK’s Office for Budget Responsibility predicting a 1.4% decline in 2023. The economy is expected to return to 1% growth in 2024.
Inflation: The consumer price index rose by 10.7% in the 12 months to November 2022, down from 11.1% in October. Rising prices in the hospitality sector offset reduction in transport costs. The annual growth of UK food prices was 13.3% in December, the highest reading on record, according to new figures from the British Retail Consortium. The annual rate of inflation (CPI) is expected to fall rapidly by mid-2023, with the Bank of England forecasting a rate at around 5% by end 2023, falling to 1.4% in 2024.
Interest rates: Higher mortgage costs and credit card interest rates are a particular pressure facing millions of households, reflected in a dampening of retail sales. The Bank of England may raise interest rates to 4% in February, the 10 successive increase since December 20212.
Employment: The unemployment rate increased marginally to 3.7% in the three months to October, as vacancies fell on an annual basis not seen since early 2021. The CBI forecast unemployment to reach 5% by year end 2023. While pay rose by a stronger than expected 6.1% over the same period, according to the ONS, wages continue to lag inflation. The UK is currently experiencing widespread industrial unrest with strikes across many sectors, including health and transport.
£ Sterling: The currency declined in value over the course of 2022, down 5% against the euro. As political certainty is one of the key drivers for the performance of a currency, the expectation is that the pound will at least stabilise is not appreciate in value. Morgan Stanley, breaking ranks with many other economists, expect Sterling to strengthen in 2023.
Asia: An Optimistic Outlook
Asia’s outlook for the year ahead is relatively upbeat, with three of the world’s largest economies – China, Japan and India – driving a return to modest growth. China, following the repeal of its Covid-zero policies and full reopening of its economy, is forecast to grow by 5% in 2023, a significant improvement on the current forecast of 3.2% in 2022, although still well below annual growth over the past decade.
China is one of the few major economies expected to see growth pick up next year after a wave of COVID lockdowns. Growth is forecast to rise from 3.3% this year to 4.6% in 2023 and 4.1% in 2024.
Data sources: include OECD; EU Commission / Eurostat / ECB; US Fed Reserve; Bank of England; ONS (UK); McKinsey; Morgan Stanley; Reuters; Financial Times.
Consumer sentiment benchmarks
- Consumer confidence muted compared to start of 2022.
- Downward trend most marked amongst British and European consumers.
- In some markets discretionary spending by many consumers defies the economic outlook.
- Interest, and propensity, to spend on travel appears to remain a post-pandemic priority for many.
European Consumers’ confidence remains well below its long-term average
Consumer sentiment indictor rose marginally in December compared to November, according to the European Commission. However, the index is still in serious negative territory after a free fall of more than a year, and only marginally above the trough reached at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. As European consumers contend with double digit inflation and soaring costs of living – monthly retail sales have slowed more than at any other time during the pandemic, with sales significantly down in Germany and France.
In terms of the U.S., consumer confidence has improved on the back of an expectation of a fall in inflation. While overall consumer spending is expected to decline in 2023, as excess savings are tapped out and debt rises, consumers are still expected to have enough pent up demand and resources to keep spending at a reasonable level on travel.
Meanwhile, UK consumer confidence still remains at a record low. Despite this British holidaymakers are reported to continue to prioritise travel abroad, recent polling from Skyscanner revealed.
2023 – CONNECTIVITY RESTORED
Expanded airline and ferry services.
- Peak 2023 airline and ferry capacity sees a return to pre-pandemic level.
- Expanded connectivity on routes mainland European routes.
- Over 240 weekly departures on routes from USA & Canada to Ireland.
As currently planned the summer schedule (April – October) will provide close to 2019 capacity with several new routes. Many of the additions to the schedule are aimed primarily on serving the surge in the Ireland outbound demand for popular sun and city break holidays, however there are several new services and additional capacity on routes of particular potential for inbound tourism. The schedule is subject to change as all services may not necessarily operate as airlines evaluate market conditions and finalise schedules.
Airport Coordination Limited (ACL), which coordinates take-off and landing slots at Dublin Airport, shows potential seat capacity on offer could reach just over 30m in summer 2023, up 17% on summer 2022. Ryanair and Aer Lingus – the top two carriers at the airport – are each planning on double digit capacity increases.
Connectivity provided by all major European, North American and Middle Eastern network carriers has been reinstated and continue to expand service to Dublin, Cork and Shannon.
Short haul connectivity
Ryanair, the market leader on short haul routes, will operate record summer schedules to/from Irish airports. The airline continues to expand the number of routes served and capacity, with record seats on offer in 2023. The expansion is perhaps most evident on record operations planned for Cork, Shannon and Knock airports next summer, including many new and expanded service to sun holiday resorts. New cross-channel routes include Newcastle and Liverpool to Shannon, and from Newquay to Dublin.
Aer Lingus continues its expansion on transatlantic services, with Aer Lingus Regional services, operated by Emerald Airlines, continuing to expand on cross-channel routes. UK-Ireland services include Heathrow-Cork increased frequency plus new Aer Lingus Regional new routes from Aberdeen and Southampton to Dublin.
All major European network carriers maintain or expend their services to/from Ireland
New and additions of particular potential for inbound tourism include:
- Tel Aviv – Dublin: EL AL Israel Airlines to launch service from March 26, 2023, (3 flights per week).
- Bergen – Dublin: Widerøe Airlines with twice weekly service from 27 April 2023.
Aer Lingus: up to 129 departures per week on a total of 15 transatlantic routes from Ireland, rebuilding connectivity and driving its commitment to connecting Europe to North America via its Hub in Dublin Airport.
United, American, Delta, Air Canada and Air Transat plan to operate up to 115 departures per week on 12 routes with some adjustments to 2022 schedules.
New for Summer 2023
- Cleveland, Ohio – Dublin, Aer Lingus’ new service from 19 May 2023 (4 departures per week).
- Hartford, Connecticut – Dublin, Aer Lingus daily service reinstated from 26 March 2023.
- Chicago-Shannon, United Airlines new daily nonstop seasonal service from 26th May 2023.
- Minneapolis St Paul – Dublin: ACL report notes that Delta Air Lines has indicated it could operate a service on the route inaugurated by Aer Lingus in 2019, but dropped in 2020 due to COVID-19.
- Calgary-Dublin: Westjet is increasing frequency while discontinuing its service from Toronto and Halifax.
- Emirates restored double daily service.
- Qatar Airways frequency 11 to 12 per week.
Increase in tourist capacity on direct European services for Summer 2023 include:
- Stena Line adding a second ferry between Rosslare and Cherbourg.
- Brittany Ferries upgrading its service between Rosslare and Bilbao.
CHALLENGES AND RISKS FACING IRISH TOURISM IN 2023
- Challenge to maintain competitiveness in face of rising input costs.
- Supply side constraints – labour, accommodation and car rental – limiting recovery.
- Higher prices for tourists & scheduled VAT increase.
Maintaining Ireland’s competitiveness
Competitiveness, currently a fast changing dynamic, presents a new set of challenges for Irish tourism businesses. While price is not the sole defining factor of Ireland’s competitiveness, value for money undoubtedly is a major determinant of competitiveness.
Any increase in price at a rate higher than in competitor destinations would damage Ireland’s competitiveness and its reputation as a ‘good value for money’ destination – each of which would have lasting consequences beyond 2023. The experience of Ireland’s tourism price inflation outpacing that of competitor destinations during the Noughties, prior to global financial crash in 2008, resulted in a loss of market share over the course of the economic downturn and a prolonged seven to eight year recovery of international tourist volumes and values to the country.
2023 will see a slowing economy, if not recession, across Ireland’s source markets, while rising prices are being exacerbated by uncertainty surrounding supply side inputs and supply. Tourism businesses are facing a number of challenges in maintaining competitiveness in a market which will undoubtedly be more price and value conscious. Past experience has amply demonstrated that some market segments of tourists to Ireland are have been especially critical of perceived poor value for money, when compared to their place of origin and experiences in other destinations. British visitors, a high volume year round market for Ireland historically have been the most critical of price and value for money, followed by selected segments of visitors from mainland Europe.
Businesses facing a cost ‘cliff edge’
As businesses struggle with rising costs of inputs, uncertainty surrounds two critically important supports for the sector – the 9% VAT rate for hospitality and the Temporary Business Support Scheme (TBSS) which are due to end on February 28. Each of these have a critical bearing on pricing for the coming season and withdrawal would severely damage Ireland’s competitiveness in the international marketplace. A recent report by economist Jim Power on the economic rationale for extending the 9% VAT rate suggests that the scheduled increase would cost 24,000 jobs and add 4.1% to inflation on accommodation and food services.
No easing of staffing pressures on tourism & hospitality businesses
Already many hospitality and tourism businesses have struggled to hire the people they need and to fill longer term skills gaps. European research points to workers quitting their jobs in high numbers even as the economic picture darkens – exacerbating a high job vacancy rate and skills gap.
Failte Ireland surveys report that up to four out of five businesses have experienced difficulty in filling positions, with specific skills shortages identified. Staffing levels have yet to recover to pre-pandemic levels. Industry estimates suggest that close to 3,500 Ukrainians have found employment in the accommodation and hospitality sector.
The labour market in Ireland is expected to remain tight with the unemployment rate below 4.5%. The job market remains buoyant across almost all sectors, despite some lay-offs and a slowing of hiring in some sectors. 90% of employers are planning to hire staff in 2023 the highest level in 6 years, according to a recent survey from Hays Ireland. The survey reports that 79% of employers are expecting to increase pay in 2023, with the average wage increase anticipated to be in the region of 5%, a figure which will be exceeded in some sectors. In addition, the ongoing housing crisis is impacting employers’ ability to recruit staff in many locations.
Businesses in addition to facing an energy crisis and rising input costs and interest rates are gearing up for wage inflation, and new employment legislation, which will put pressure on prices and erode company earnings.
The risks to tourism persist, and may be further exacerbated, in 2023, including:
- A loss of competitiveness resulting in loss of market share and prolonging recovery;
- Staffing shortages forcing businesses to curtail trading; and
- Slippage in the quality of the tourist experience.
Reduced tourist accommodation supply
It is expected that Ireland’s stock of visitor accommodation in 2023 will be sharply less than in 2019. The reduction in capacity arises from the Government’s reliance on tourist accommodation to house those seeking refuge together with new legislation impacting short term rentals.
Ireland’s reliance on tourist accommodations as humanitarian shelter
At present almost one quarter (23.5%) of the country’s tourist accommodation stock, including 17% of hotel bed capacity, is under contract to the Government to meet humanitarian needs. This represents a total of 42,000 beds in registered tourist accommodation premises, including almost 26,000 in hotels, are effectively withdrawn from the market.
% of tourist accommodation, registered with Failte Ireland, currently contracted by the Government:
Source: DCEDIY – November 2022 data
The geographic distribution of Ukrainian guests mirrors the supply of tourist accommodation with a heavy concentration along the western seaboard, where up to one third of tourist accommodation in popular locations is currently withdrawn from the market.
Official data shows the distribution of Ukrainian refugees across the country by Local Elector Area (LEA). This shows that Ennistimon, encompassing Lahinch, Co. Clare, has the highest rate of Ukrainians per 100 of the population at 9.51%. In terms of volume, Killarney is catering currently to the largest number of refugees in any one location, outside of Dublin’s North Inner City.
The crunch point will occur in March/April when operators will determine the future of much of this capacity currently withdrawn from the tourism market. At time of writing it is difficult to foresee an adequate supply of alternative accommodations coming on stream to meet the State’s need to provide shelter for those fleeing conflict. While hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs can play a part in providing humanitarian relief, almost exclusive reliance on the sector is not sustainable nor is the accommodation suitable for long term housing needs.
If the level of tourism accommodation stock is unavailable next year, industry estimates it could cost the broader tourism economy up to €1 billion in lost earnings.
New legislative regime for short term holiday rentals
New Government legislation to address the housing shortfall requires all short-term and holiday lets, of up to 21 nights, to register with Fáilte Ireland. The short term rental market advertised on line has been estimated at up to 27,000 premises, of which 20,000 are full properties, providing up to 130,000 beds, according to Fáilte Ireland.
From April 2023 all online platforms, including Airbnb, Booking.com, HomeAway, TripAdvisor and others, can only advertise properties with a valid Fáilte Ireland registration number. The legislation proposes fines of up to €5,000 for failure to comply by letting websites and/or landlords in cases brought before the District Court.
The impact of the legislation, when implemented, will lead to a significant reduction in short-term let tourist bed spaces. A six-month grace period is expected to be provided for properties which need to comply with change of use planning requirements to operate in the short term rental market.
Risks arising from a significant reduction in tourist accommodation, include:
- Reduction of Ireland ability to cater for tourist demand, especially in the peak season, thereby limiting trade. The impact is most likely to impact demand from the domestic, British and mainland European markets, limiting the supply of mid-range accommodation.
- Scarcity of supply leading to inevitable price increases above inflation in locations, and at times of, high demand;
- Significant downstream loss of trade for the service sector – restaurants, pubs, shops, transport, tours, etc. – in locations where tourist accommodation is withdrawn from the market; Downstream businesses such as shops, attractions, pubs, restaurants and cultural experiences will be hit particularly hard. Fáilte Ireland data clearly shows that for every €1 a tourist spends on accommodation, €2.50 is spent on ancillary tourism services.
- Loss of employment traditionally associated with tourism.
Consumers face higher travel costs in 2023 and beyond
Airline and ferry fares have increased over the past 12 months as a result of higher cost for conventional fossil-based fuel, with jet fuel increased by nearly 150% in the last year. Despite a fall in fuel prices in recent months, the outlook for 2023 suggests that travel fare increases may continue to outpace inflation in many markets, as carriers cope with higher non-fuel input costs, including labour and airport charges.
Airline passengers face higher ticket prices as the industry moves towards its target of reducing emission to net zero by 2050. Ryanair’s group chief executive, is on record as saying that air fares will rise by as much as 30% in the medium term, as climate action measures will add to the cost of travel. Most recently, the European Commission, as part of its climate package, has recommended that the decades-long tax exemption on aviation and maritime fuels be ended. Already several member states reliant on tourism, particularly those dependent on aviation due to geography, are seeking some flexibility arguing that a levy on transport fuel would not be effective in achieving the aim of encouraging use of alternative means of transport and would cause disproportionate economic damage to a number of destinations.
ITIC – MARKET OPPORTUNITIES & SCENARIO PROJECTIONS
The current market environment for international travel.
- While the economic outlook is less than positive, all major source markets are expected to resume economic growth by the latter part of 2023.
- Despite rising prices and a squeeze on disposable incomes, traveller surveys and consumer data show continued resilience for leisure travel.
- Ireland’s tourism recovery is boosted by a robust expansion by air and sea carriers.
RISKS TO CONTINUED RECOVERY
- Escalation of the conflict in Ukraine.
- New outbreaks of COVID & reintroduction of travel restrictions.
- A deeper economic slowdown, or recession, than currently forecast.
- Ireland fails to deliver value for money in the face of higher prices and supply constraints.
- The VAT rate for tourism and hospitality increases.
LIKELY DEMAND CHARACTERISTICS IN 2023
- Prioritisation of main holidays.
- Additional holidays/short breaks at risk.
- Greater focus on value for money, more price conscious consumers.
- Some adjustment in length of stay and spending patterns.
- Recovery of business travel expected to continue to lag leisure.
- VFR travel recovery stalled.
USA – Overall Prospects: Very Good
- Demand for travel to Europe expected to hold up amongst higher income households.
- Strong US dollar.
- Ireland well positioned in the market.
- Expanded airlift and competitive fares.
- Good high end experiences.
- Any deterioration in perceived competitiveness or adverse publicity.
- Limitations on supply and high cost of car rental.
- Frustration of demand due to lack of available accommodation.
Mainland Europe – Overall Prospects: Mixed
- Good market potential across leisure segments.
- Familiarity and good past experiences.
- High level of intent to visit.
- Expanded air & ferry options.
- Extensive Ryanair connectivity.
- Resistance to increased prices.
- Shortage of mid-range accommodations.
- Loss of short breaks /additional holiday visits.
- Stalled recovery of German market.
Britain – Overall Prospects: Poor
- Proximity and easy access.
- Familiarity and strong VFR connections.
- Good year round potential.
- High insistence of weekend / short break trips.
- Highly price sensitive market.
- Loss of short breaks and event driven visits.
- Sharp fall-off in demand in Q1 & Q2.
- Recovery of business travel stalled.
Rest of World – Overall Prospects: Mixed/Poor
- Australia / New Zealand good VFR & leisure.
- Emerging markets with good medium/longer term potential.
- Ireland: New destination / new experiences.
- Connectivity restored to pre-pandemic levels by Middle East carriers.
- COVID related travel restrictions.
- Continued slow recovery of Asia to Europe travel.
- Travel visa regimes limiting opportunities.
Revised recovery scenarios
In the context of changed economic conditions and short term outlook for markets, the recovery path for Irish tourism to pre-pandemic tourist volumes, is expect to be delayed in 2023, despite a better than predicted out come in 2022. It should be kept in mind that Q1 in 2022 was very slow due to the unwinding of Covid restrictions whereas 2023 will hopefully have no trading speed bumps during the calendar year.
The model, based on revision of recovery path, suggests:
- Base line scenario: approx. 10% tourist volume growth in 2023, with a loss of momentum of the recovery rate experienced in the latter part of 2022 going into 2023. Recovery momentum is expected to resume in the latter half of 2023. Full recovery is now pushed back to 2025/26
- Upside scenario: based on an economic soft landing could be expected to deliver up to 20% year on year volume increase on 2022. The upside performance is based on a significant increase in North American and tourists from selected European markets in 2023. Full recovery: 2024/25
- Downside scenario: projects only a marginal change in annual volume in 2023, based on negative impact on leisure visits from short haul markets, at least in the first half of 2023. Full recovery further delayed to 2027/28.
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Irish Resident Travel by County 2022
The Central Statistics Office published the Household Travel Survey Quarter 4 and Year 2022 in April 2023. The survey includes estimates of trips, nights and average length of stay of Irish Residents analysed by main county visited. This report summarises this data along with estimates generated by Fáilte Ireland of domestic tourism revenue by county.
Domestic Trips, Nights and Revenue by County 2019 and 2021
The Central Statistics Office published the Household Travel Survey Quarter 4 and Year 2021 in May 2022. The survey includes estimates of trips, nights and average length of stay of Irish Residents analysed by main county visited. This report summarises this and 2019 data along with estimates generated by Fáilte Ireland of domestic tourism revenue by county.
Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands Tourism Facts 2019
Find key statistics about tourism in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands
Dublin Tourism Facts 2019
Find key statistics about tourism in Dublin
Ireland’s Ancient East Tourism Facts 2019
Find key statistics about tourism in Ireland’s Ancient East
Wild Atlantic Way Tourism Facts 2019
Find key statistics about tourism along the Wild Atlantic Way
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50+ interesting ireland travel & tourism statistics (2023).
The island of Ireland is becoming one of the most important destinations in Europe's travel and tourism landscape. With magical sceneries and truly endless things to do in Ireland , it truly is a treasure trove of otherworldly charms.
Made up of the Republic of Ireland, as well as Northern Ireland which is part of the UK. This island is the birthplace of many illustrious writers including Oscar Wilde. It is also known for the lavish landscape and stunning medieval castles.
So, it should not be a surprise that millions of people visit Ireland each year. In fact, the island welcomed a record-breaking number of 11.3 overseas tourists in 2019 .
The tourism sector is becoming a more and more integral part of the Irish economy and lifestyle. 5.6% of all employed people in Ireland actually work in the travel industry.
We have compiled some of the most interesting statistics about travel and tourism in Ireland, from the number of tourists it receives each year to how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted Irish tourism.
Let’s dive right in!
Sources: After each stat, I have referenced where the data was gathered and curated from. For a full list of all articles and sources used in this roundup, please head to the bottom of the post. At the time of publication, these are the most up-to-date statistics available. Little data was gathered in 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandefacemic.
Ireland Tourism Key Findings
- Ireland received 11.3 million overseas visitors in 2019, the highest number to date
- This is an increase of 100,000 tourists compared to 2018
- Total tourism on the island of Ireland generated £7.8 billion of revenue in 2019
- International tourism contributed around £5.1 billion of that amount, while residents from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Island spent £2.7 billion
- Nearly 70% of all international tourists in Ireland are from the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany or France
- 50% of visitors to Ireland come for holidaying purposes, while 1 in 3 people come to visit friends or relatives. 14% come for business visits
- The average overseas tourist spends £451 per trip and stays for 7.3 nights
- The most popular tourist destination in Ireland is Dublin , followed by the South West and Northern Ireland
- The tourism sector in Ireland contributed more than 127,100 jobs in 2018, and this number is expected to rise dramatically by 2028
- For every €1 million spent on overseas marketing, Ireland enjoys €41 million in economic return
Overseas Tourism in Ireland Statistics
How Popular is Ireland Among International Tourists?
1. Ireland received 11.3 million overseas visitors in 2019, the highest number to date.
2019 had been a huge year for the Republic of Ireland’s tourism as the country received a record-high total of 11.3 million international tourists, which is 100,000 more than 2018.
2. In 2019, international tourism in Ireland generated around £5.1 billion in revenue.
The island of Ireland generated €5.9 or £5.1 billion from tourist expenditure in 2019.
3. 50% of visitors to Ireland come for holidaying purposes.
Half of all overseas visitors to Ireland are holiday makers, 32% are visiting friends or on a family trip , 14% are coming on business visits, while 4% are visiting for other purposes.
4. The average overseas tourist spends £451 per trip and stays for 7.3 nights.
The average spend by an overseas tourist in 2019 was £451, while the average length of stay was 7.3 nights.
5. Nearly 70% of all international tourists in Ireland are from the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany or France.
Ireland receives the most tourists from Great Britain (42%), followed by the US (15%), Germany (7%), and France (5%) .
6. 29% of all international tourists stay with friends or relatives when visiting Ireland.
7. North American tourists travel more extensively than tourists from other places.
They usually include an average of 2.5 regions in their trip compared to the 1.9 region of overseas tourists as a whole.
8. More than half of all overseas vacationers to Ireland are at least 35 years old.
Tourists from mainland Europe tend to be younger (47% are below 35 years old) whereas tourists from Other Areas are typically older, with 62% being above 35 years old.
9. 67% of all holiday makers in 2019 were coming to the Island of Ireland for the first time ever.
This was a huge increase from only 59% in 2009.
10. The most popular tourist destination in Ireland is Dublin (59% of all overseas visitors), followed by the South West (21%) and Northern Ireland (20%).
11. border, which includes cavan, donegal, leitrim, monaghan, and sligo, was the least popular region for overseas visitors. it welcomed 768,000 visitors in 2019., irish tourism for great britain visitors.
How Many British Tourists Visit Ireland?
12. Great Britain remains Ireland’s top market source for travel and tourism.
Britain is the most important market for Ireland in terms of tourists and nights.
13. 42% of all overseas trips to Ireland come from Great Britain.
14. in 2019, 4.8 million tourists from great britain visited ireland..
Great Britain is the world's 4th largest outbound market making around 93 million trips annually, 5% of which is to the island of Ireland.
15. Among those, 83% are from England, 14% from Scotland, and 4% from Wales.
Scotland makes up 14% of all British tourists that travelled to Ireland in 2019.
16. Most British tourists stay between 1 to 3 nights in Ireland, while only 10% stay for more than 9 nights.
For most tourists from Great Britain (58%), the ideal length of trip to Ireland is between 1 and 3 nights. Only 10% of British tourists stay for 9 nights or longer.
17. Tourists from Great Britain generate up to £1.3 billion, which is one-fourth of Ireland’s total tourist revenue.
In 2019, Ireland made €1.4 or £1.3 billion in revenue from British tourists alone, which accounts to 25% of the island’s tourism revenue.
18. Ireland is the 6th most popular outbound destination among tourists from Great Britain.
19. food & drink represents the largest portion of holiday spending in ireland by uk visitors..
38% of all holiday expenditure by British tourists goes towards food & drink. Followed by accommodation, shopping, then transport.
American Tourists in Ireland
How Do American Visitors Contribute to Ireland’s Tourism Sector?
20. The USA contributes the most out of all overseas markets in Ireland in terms of revenue, and 2nd in terms of tourists.
The United States of America is the largest source of overseas revenue for Ireland and the 2nd most important source of tourists after Great Britain.
21. In 2019, there were 1.7 million tourists coming to Ireland from the United States of America. This number has grown by 61% since 2014.
The United States has the largest outbound market in the world. In 2019, 43% of outbound trips from the US were to Europe and 9% of these included a visit to Ireland.
22. American tourists spent £1.4 billion in Ireland in 2019.
This amount has grown by 71% since 2014.
23. The average expenditure of an American tourist in Ireland is £797 per visit. 36% of this is typically spent on food & drink.
For an average trip to the island of Ireland by an American holidaymaker, they would spend £797. With food & drink being the largest portion of expenditure, followed by accommodation, shopping and transport.
24. The average length of stay for American tourists in Ireland is 8 nights.
29% of American tourists stay for 6-8 nights in Ireland.
25. During summer of 2019, Ireland airports welcomed 217 departures per week from the US.
This is almost 55,000 direct air seats per week leaving from the US to Ireland.
26. US vacationers make up 22% of all vacationers arriving in Ireland in 2019.
27. the island of ireland is the 8th most popular destination on the us holiday maker’s travel bucket list., domestic tourism in ireland.
How popular is Ireland among domestic tourists?
28. In 2019, there were 11.6 million domestic trips in Ireland, which is a dramatic 27% increase from 2015.
11.6 million trips to Ireland were made in 2019 by domestic tourists, which is a huge increase from 2015.
29. 1 in 2 of these domestic trips was a holiday trip.
Half of the total domestic trips made to Ireland in 2019 were for holidaying purposes.
30. 36% of overnight holiday makers in Ireland stayed in hotels, while 16% stayed in holiday homes.
Hotels are the most popular accommodation choice among domestic tourists in Ireland. Meanwhile, 16% of them stay in holiday homes. Airbnb statistics have yet to be confirmed for Ireland tourism.
31. The most popular time to visit Ireland for domestic holiday makers is between July and September.
Motivation for visiting ireland.
Why do tourists come to Ireland?
32. 50% of visitors to Ireland come for holidaying purposes, while 1 in 3 people come to visit friends or relatives. 14% come for business visits.
14% of all visitors to Ireland come for business purposes.
33. One of the most popular activities to do in Ireland is hiking or cross country walking, which engaged around 2,392,000 overseas visitors in 2019.
Nature-oriented activities remain the most popular among both domestic and overseas visitors to Ireland alike, with hiking or cross country walking being a favourite for overseas tourists.
34. 361,000 overseas tourists in 2019 were involved in cycling activities while in Ireland.
35. the internet is the biggest source of information for tourists planning a trip to ireland.
Most overseas visitors to Ireland use the internet to plan their trip . On the other hand, one-fourth of them also rely on guide books, while only 14% plan with the help of travel agents.
36. 39% of overseas holiday makers in Ireland in 2019 came as a couple, while 1 in every 5 visited alone.
Employment in the irish travel industry.
How many people are involved in the tourism sector in Ireland?
37. The tourism sector in Ireland contributed more than 127,100 jobs in 2018. This is about 5.6% of the total employment in Ireland.
In 2018, there were 127,100 people employed in the Irish tourism sector, which is around 5.6% of all employment in Ireland.
38. The Statista Research Department forecasts that this number will rise to 180,400 by 2028.
39. Every €1 million in tourist expenditure can support 27 jobs in the tourism sector in Ireland.
Failte Ireland estimates that every €1 million spent by tourists in Ireland can support 27 jobs in the country’s travel industry.
Tourism and Ireland’s Economy
How does the tourism sector affect the economy in Ireland?
40. From 2012 to 2018, travel and tourism has overall increased its contribution to the GDP of Ireland.
41. in 2018, the tourism industry made €17.9 billion contribution to ireland’s gdp, which is roughly 5.4% of the country’s total gdp..
42. By 2028, this amount is expected to increase to €26 billion.
Statista forecasts that the Irish tourism sector will contribute up to €26 billion in GDP for the country’s economy.
43. In 2019, total tourism on the island of Ireland generated £7.8 billion.
44. overseas visitors remain the most important source of tourists for the island of ireland, contributing to around £5.1 billion..
Visitors from the US are the most important source in terms of tourist revenue for the island of Ireland.
45. Meanwhile, residents of the Republic of Ireland spent £2 billion in expenditure and those from Northern Ireland contributed £666 million.
Domestic tourists from both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland also contribute a significant amount of tourism revenue.
46. Every euro spent on tourism in Ireland generates 23c in tax.
Tourist attractions in ireland.
What are the most popular tourist attractions in Ireland?
47. 4 out of the top 10 free (and 4 out of the top 10 paid) attractions in Ireland are found in Dublin.
Dublin is home to 4 of the 10 most popular free and paid attractions in Ireland. This includes the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin Zoo, Book of Kells, and St Patrick’s Cathedral for the paid attraction.
There are also the National Gallery of Ireland, National Botanic Gardens, National Museum of Ireland Archaeology, and Irish Museum of Modern Art for the free attractions.
48. Guinness Storehouse in Dublin is the top paid tourist attraction in Ireland, which received 1.7 million visits in 2019 alone.
49. Free attractions are actually less popular in Ireland, with the most visited free attraction, Castletown House Parklands in Kildare, receiving 966 thousand visits in 2019.
Effects of the covid-19 pandemic in ireland.
How did the recent Coronavirus pandemic impact tourism in Ireland?
50. In March 2020, overseas arrivals (air and sea) in Ireland decreased by 56.7% from the previous year.
[Central Statistics Office]
In March 2020 when Covid-19 began to directly impact Ireland and the UK, international arrivals in Ireland fell by 56.7% from March 2019.
51. When the pandemic caused a sudden collapse in international travel in April 2020, the number decreased by 99.1%.
There were only 16,100 arrivals in Ireland in April 2020, compared to 1.7 million in April 2019. This is a substantial decrease of 99.1%.
52. One year later in April 2021, there was a 331.2% increase in overseas arrivals in Ireland.
The most recent statistics of overseas travel in Ireland shows that air and sea travel are slowly recovering from the year-long travel ban and restrictions. It still hasn’t regained its levels before the pandemic, but is an improvement from 2020.
53. June 2021 sees 57,100 overseas arrivals, which is a 180% increase from previous year.
While this number is steadily increasing, it is still far below the pre-pandemic arrival level of 1.9 million in June 2019.
54. A recent study shows that 42% of global holiday makers expect their next European holiday to be in 2022.
55. when choosing a travel destination in europe for future plans, the most desirable elements for most holiday makers include beautiful scenery and history and culture..
Holiday makers around the world admit that when choosing a European travel destination for their post-Covid plan, the most important elements are beautiful scenery and rich history and culture. The island of Ireland abounds with both of these.
The tourism sector in Ireland contributes to 5.4% of the island’s total GDP and this amount is only expected to rise from now on.
Since reaching a record high of 11.3 million overseas tourists in 2019, there is reason to believe that interest in visiting Ireland for holidaying purposes will only grow, especially once the pandemic has fully passed.
In spite of setbacks from Covid-19 and the dramatic fall in number of arrivals this past year, the natural and cultural appeal of Ireland will continue to impress!
We’ve tried to be as comprehensive as we can with this post. Hopefully, it can help you understand more about tourism in Ireland.
Did we miss any crucial statistics about travel and tourism in Ireland?
Drop us a comment below!
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Selected leading cities ranked by number of cultural attractions worldwide as of June 2021
Leading countries worldwide with the highest number of museums 2021
Leading countries worldwide ranked by estimated number of museums as of March 2021
Leading museums by highest attendance worldwide 2019-2022
Most visited museums worldwide from 2019 to 2022 (in millions)
Most visited amusement and theme parks worldwide 2019-2022
Leading amusement and theme parks worldwide from 2019 to 2022, by attendance (in millions)
Online travel market
- Premium Statistic Online travel market size worldwide 2020-2030
- Premium Statistic Revenue of leading online travel agencies (OTAs) worldwide 2019-2021
- Basic Statistic Leading online travel companies worldwide 2022, by market cap
- Premium Statistic Leading online travel companies worldwide 2020-2022, by revenue CAGR
- Premium Statistic Leading online travel companies worldwide 2022-2023, by EV/EBITDA
- Premium Statistic Marketing expenses of leading online travel agencies (OTAs) worldwide 2019-2021
Online travel market size worldwide 2020-2030
Online travel market size worldwide from 2020 to 2022, with a forecast for 2023 and 2030 (in billion U.S. dollars)
Revenue of leading online travel agencies (OTAs) worldwide 2019-2021
Leading online travel agencies (OTAs) worldwide from 2019 to 2021, by revenue (in billion U.S. dollars)
Leading online travel companies worldwide 2022, by market cap
Market cap of leading online travel companies worldwide as of December 2022 (in million U.S. dollars)
Leading online travel companies worldwide 2020-2022, by revenue CAGR
Revenue compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of leading online travel companies worldwide from 2020 to 2022
Leading online travel companies worldwide 2022-2023, by EV/EBITDA
Enterprise-value-to-EBITDA (EV/EBITDA) of selected leading online travel companies worldwide in 2022, with a forecast for 2023
Marketing expenses of leading online travel agencies (OTAs) worldwide 2019-2021
Marketing expenses of selected leading online travel agencies (OTAs) worldwide from 2019 to 2021 (in billion U.S. dollars)
- Premium Statistic Global travelers who believe in the importance of green travel 2022
- Premium Statistic Global travelers opinions on the efforts of tourism sectors to be sustainable 2020
- Premium Statistic Airbnb revenue worldwide 2017-2022
- Premium Statistic Airbnb nights and experiences booked worldwide 2017-2022
- Premium Statistic Main technologies to increase travel confidence among travelers worldwide 2021
- Premium Statistic Technologies adopted by hotels worldwide as of November 2021, by date of use
Global travelers who believe in the importance of green travel 2022
Share of travelers that believe sustainable travel is important worldwide in 2022
Global travelers opinions on the efforts of tourism sectors to be sustainable 2020
Travelers opinions on the sustainability efforts of selected sectors in the tourism industry worldwide as of January 2020
Airbnb revenue worldwide 2017-2022
Revenue of Airbnb worldwide from 2017 to 2022 (in billion U.S. dollars)
Airbnb nights and experiences booked worldwide 2017-2022
Nights and experiences booked with Airbnb from 2017 to 2022 (in millions)
Main technologies to increase travel confidence among travelers worldwide 2021
Leading technologies that would increase confidence to travel in the next 12 months according to travelers worldwide as of September 2021
Technologies adopted by hotels worldwide as of November 2021, by date of use
Leading technologies adopted in hotels worldwide as of November 2021, by period of implementation
Impact of the coronavirus
- Premium Statistic COVID-19: global change in international tourist arrivals 2019-2022
- Premium Statistic COVID-19 impact on international tourist arrivals worldwide 2020-Q1 2023, by region
- Premium Statistic Change in international tourist arrivals worldwide 2020-2021, by sub-region
- Basic Statistic COVID-19: job loss in travel and tourism worldwide 2020-2022, by region
- Basic Statistic COVID-19: job loss in travel and tourism worldwide 2020-2021, by country
COVID-19: global change in international tourist arrivals 2019-2022
Change in international tourist arrivals during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic worldwide from 2019 to 2022
COVID-19 impact on international tourist arrivals worldwide 2020-Q1 2023, by region
Percentage change in international tourist arrivals worldwide due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic from 2020 to 1st quarter 2023, by region
Change in international tourist arrivals worldwide 2020-2021, by sub-region
Percentage change in number of international tourist arrivals worldwide in 2020 and 2021, by sub-region
COVID-19: job loss in travel and tourism worldwide 2020-2022, by region
Employment loss in travel and tourism due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic worldwide from 2020 to 2022, by region (in millions)
COVID-19: job loss in travel and tourism worldwide 2020-2021, by country
Employment loss in the travel and tourism industry due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in selected countries worldwide in 2020 and 2021 (in millions)
- Premium Statistic Travel and tourism revenue worldwide 2018-2027, by segment
- Premium Statistic Distribution of sales channels in the travel and tourism market worldwide 2017-2027
- Premium Statistic Inbound tourism visitor growth worldwide 2020-2024, by region
- Premium Statistic Outbound tourism visitor growth worldwide 2020-2024, by region
Travel and tourism revenue worldwide 2018-2027, by segment
Revenue of the global travel and tourism market from 2018 to 2027, by segment (in billion U.S. dollars)
Distribution of sales channels in the travel and tourism market worldwide 2017-2027
Revenue share of sales channels of the travel and tourism market worldwide from 2017 to 2027
Inbound tourism visitor growth worldwide 2020-2024, by region
Inbound tourism visitor growth worldwide in 2020, with a forecast until 2024, by region
Outbound tourism visitor growth worldwide 2020-2024, by region
Outbound tourism visitor growth worldwide in 2020, with a forecast until 2024, by region
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Flood damage repair to close Midleton Distillery visitor centre for ‘some time’
‘small number’ of seasonal employees set to leave the business in november, according to irish distillers.
An aerial view of flooding in Midleton, Co Cork after Storm Babet taken on Wednesday October 18th. Photograph: Guileen Coast Guard
A “small number” of seasonal employees at the Midleton Distillery Experience will leave the business in November after severe flooding in east Cork forced its closure, Irish Distillers has said, with the extent of the damage from Storm Babet expected to shutter the facility for “some time”.
Opened just three weeks ago by Tánaiste Micheál Martin following a multimillion euro redevelopment, the site was damaged when the Owenacurra river burst its banks last week, flooding the town to a depth of more than one metre.
Irish Distillers, the maker of Jameson and Powers Irish whiskeys, expects the clean-up and repair work to “take some time to complete”, a spokeswoman for the Pernod Ricard-owned company said. The site had been “significantly damaged”, and the extent of the destruction was still being assessed.
Asked if any jobs would be affected, the spokeswoman said: “There have been no changes to the organisation structure or any permanent roles.” However, she said: “Like many other tourism businesses, we hire some of our team on a seasonal basis to support with busy periods in our brand homes. And depending on the level of bookings and activity, some contracts are retained beyond that period. As is the norm in our business every year – a small number of seasonal employees will leave the business at the beginning of November, in line with their contracts.”
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The company said in September that the new facility would employ 58 people but it is not clear how many of those roles are permanent and how many are seasonal in nature.
In a statement on its website, Irish Distillers directed anyone who has booked a distillery tour over the coming days and weeks to contact the company for a refund. “Our thoughts are with the communities, people and businesses in the Midleton and wider east Cork region who have been affected by the unprecedented and devastating flooding which occurred on October 18th,” it said.
Announcing the reopening of the visitor centre in September, the spirits-maker said the new facility had been “constructed with sustainability and efficiency at the forefront of the design”. Irish Distillers said the site had “the potential to welcome more than 200,000 visitors annually and will position Midleton Distillery as one of the top tourism attractions in Ireland, while supporting jobs and economic growth in the east Cork region”.
The spokeswoman declined to comment on whether other aspects of the distillery operation were affected by the flooding, which damaged more than 100 homes and businesses in the town.
Ian Curran is a Business reporter with The Irish Times
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