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Air and Sea Travel Statistics May 2022

Overseas arrivals 12% fewer than pre-pandemic

CSO statistical publication, , 11am

Key Findings

In May 2022;

  • More than 1,592,400 passengers arrived in Ireland on overseas routes.

  • This compares with 85,400 arrivals in May 2021 (a nineteen-fold increase).

  • Some 1,501,900 passengers arrived by air and 90,500 by sea.

  • More arrivals came via Great Britain (536,200) than via any other country.

Statistician's Comment

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (29 June 2022) released the Air and Sea Travel Statistics.

Commenting on the release, Gregg Patrick, Statistician, said: “The Air and Sea Travel Statistics for May 2022 continue to show a rebound in overseas travel as COVID-19 concerns recede. In May 2022 some 1,592,400 overseas passengers arrived in Ireland. By way of contrast 85,400 overseas passengers arrived in Ireland in May 2021 and just 28,300 overseas passengers arrived in May 2020. However, overseas travel remains significantly lower (12.5%) than pre-pandemic levels. In May 2019 there were 1,818,900 overseas arrivals.

The recovery is seen in both modes of travel (air and sea), although the recovery in air travel is most dramatic (with a twenty-one-fold increase compared to May 2021). The recovery is also spread across all major routes, with transatlantic traffic up most in relative terms (with 35 transatlantic passengers arriving in May 2022 for every one in May 2021). Among the continental routes, Spanish routes were the busiest, with 220,200 passengers arriving on these routes, a more than thirty-two-fold increase compared to May 2021.

However, in overall terms, Great Britain remained the most important departure country for overseas travellers to Ireland, with 536,200 passengers arriving on air and sea routes from Great Britain, compared to just 32,400 in May 2021."

The collection of Tourism Statistics at air and sea ports was suspended in March 2020, to protect CSO enumerators and the travelling public from COVID-19. As a result, the details of travel to Ireland classified by country of residence, which were previously presented in the monthly Overseas Travel release, are not currently available. To help fill the data gap, the CSO is publishing this Air and Sea Travel Statistics release which reports on the numbers of overseas travellers arriving and departing Ireland classified by travel route. The information is compiled primarily from statistics provided by the DAA (Cork and Dublin airports), together with data from other airports and sea ferry operators. In March 2022 the CSO resumed survey operations at Dublin Airport on a test basis, using a new data capture methodology. This testing will extend to the other air and sea ports over the summer period. Until these trials are complete and survey operations are fully scaled, the CSO will continue publishing these Air and Sea Travel Statistics to provide high level visibility on overseas passenger flows.

Figure 1: Overseas Arrivals May 2019 - May 2022
Figure 2: Air and Sea Travel Arrivals and Departures by Route, May 2022
Table 1: Overseas arrivals and departures by year, month and mode
Table 2: Overseas arrivals and departures by year, month and route
Table 3: Overseas arrivals and departures by year, month and routing country