More than 1,726,100 passengers arrived in Ireland on overseas routes in September 2022.
This compares with 810,100 arrivals in September 2021 (a more than two-fold increase).
Some 1,626,800 passengers arrived by air and 99,200 by sea in September 2022.
More arrivals came via Great Britain (525,200) than via any other country in September 2022.
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (28 October 2022) released Air and Sea Travel Statistics for September 2022.
Commenting on the release, Gregg Patrick, Statistician in the Tourism and Travel Division, said: “The latest Air and Sea Travel Statistics show 1,726,100 passengers arrived in Ireland on overseas routes in September 2022. These passengers, comprising foreign visitors arriving in Ireland and Irish overseas travellers returning home, represent a very substantial increase on September 2021, when 810,100 passengers arrived on overseas routes. The increase is even more substantial when compared with September 2020 when just 254,400 passengers arrived on these routes. However, passenger arrivals remain significantly lower (7.7%) than pre-pandemic September 2019, when 1,871,100 passengers arrived on overseas routes.
The recovery is seen in both modes of travel (air and sea), although the recovery in air travel is most pronounced as it has more than doubled when compared with September 2021. The recovery is also spread across all major routes, with transatlantic traffic up most in relative terms with five passengers arriving on transatlantic routes in September 2022 for every one passenger in September 2021. Among the continental routes, Spanish routes were the busiest, with 250,200 passengers arriving on these routes, an almost two-fold increase compared to September 2021.
However, in overall terms, Great Britain remained the most important departure country for overseas travel to Ireland, with 525,200 passengers arriving on air and sea routes from Great Britain, compared to just 252,500 in September 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 remaining months of this year. 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.
Of the 1,726,100 passengers arriving in Ireland in September 2022, 94.3% (1,626,800) arrived by air and 5.7% (99,200) arrived by sea. This means the share of sea travel has returned to its September 2019 pre-pandemic level when 5.7% of passengers also arrived by sea.
In September 2022, one-third (30.6%) of passenger arrivals (528,000) came or returned to Ireland on cross-channel routes (i.e. their point of embarkation was an airport or seaport in Great Britain, the Isle of Man, or the Channel Islands). Just over half (53.6%) of passenger arrivals (925,300) came or returned to Ireland on continental routes (embarking in a European airport or seaport other than in Great Britain, the Isle of Man, or the Channel Islands). More than one-tenth (11.9%) of passenger arrivals (206,300) came or returned to Ireland on transatlantic routes (embarking in the United States or Canada). Nearly four in every one hundred (3.9%) of passenger arrivals (66,600) came or returned to Ireland on other routes (embarking in Africa or Asia).
Apart from Great Britain (which accounted for almost all cross-channel activity in September 2022), the most important country gateways for passengers travelling to Ireland were Spain (250,200), the United States (173,200), France (114,500) and Italy (94,300). When we compare these passenger flows with September 2019, we see that passenger arrivals embarking from Spain were 2.3% higher than pre-pandemic and arrivals embarking from France and Italy increased by 2.7% and 11.2% respectively. However, passenger arrivals embarking from the United States decreased by 13.6% compared with September 2019.
Data previously published as Other EU28 is now listed under Selected EU (AT,BG,CY,CZ,DK,EE,FI,GR,HR,HU,LT,LU,LV,MT,RO,SE,SI,SK). This change was made to improve clarity and to reflect the post-Brexit composition of the category.