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Tourism & Travel

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This chapter presents information on the tourism sector of the Irish economy. The tourism and travel information covers earnings and expenditure from tourism and travel as well as detailing the number of trips to Ireland classified by area of residence and reason for journey. Details of foreign and domestic travel by Irish residents classified by region visited and reason for journey are also included.

18.1 Overseas trips to Ireland by non-residents - number of trips, average length of stay and expenditure by area of residence, 2011 - 2013
Total overseas trips to Ireland6,5056,5176,986
Great Britain2,8782,7742,929
Other Europe1,2391,2511,312
USA & Canada9871,0171,158
Australia & New Zealand141155187
All other areas216223248
Average length of stay in Ireland7.77.47.3
Great Britain4.84.64.7
Other Europe10.29.18.8
USA & Canada8.88.58.2
Australia & New Zealand11.711.611.8
All other areas15.413.914.1
   € million
Total expenditure in Ireland (excluding fares)2,8992,9163,262
Great Britain830819847
Other Europe580544629
USA & Canada679742822
Australia & New Zealand117133168
All other areas154155191
Source: CSO

Interactive table: StatBank link


In 2013, almost 7 million overseas trips were made by non-residents to Ireland compared to over 6.5 million trips in 2012, an increase of 7.2%.  Residents of Great Britain took over 2.9 million trips to Ireland during 2013, an increase of 155,000 trips compared to 2012. The average length of stay in Ireland by all overseas travellers fell marginally from 7.4 nights in 2012 to 7.3 nights in 2013.  The most important overseas markets in terms of non-fare expenditure within Ireland in 2013 were Great Britain (26%) and USA and Canada (25%).

18.2 Overseas trips to Ireland by non-residents - number of trips, average length of stay and expenditure by reason for journey, 2011 - 2013
Total overseas trips to Ireland6,5056,5176,986
Visit to friends/relatives1,9731,8182,015
Other 705685670
Average length of stay in Ireland7.77.47.3
Visit to friends/relatives7.57.37.3
Other 15.614.814.0
   € million
Total expenditure in Ireland (excluding fares)2,8992,9163,262
Visit to Friends/relatives641588670
Other 324287324
Source: CSO   

Interactive table: StatBank link


The number of overseas trips to Ireland for the purpose of holiday/leisure/recreation increased by 227,000 trips between 2012 and 2013, to almost 3.1 million trips, a rise of 8%. During the same period, the number of trips to visit friends and relatives rose by 197,000 trips to over 2 million trips, an increase of 10.8%.

Excluding fares, expenditure by overseas travellers increased by 11.9% in 2013, from €2,916 million in 2012 to €3,262 million. Of this €3,262 million, 52% was spent by overseas travellers for holiday/leisure/recreation purposes, 21% by those travelling to visit friends and relatives, 18% by business travellers and the remaining 10% by those travelling for 'Other' reasons.

18.3 Outbound travel (overnight trips) by Irish residents - number of trips, number of nights, average length of stay and expenditure
       by region visited, 2010 - 2013
Total outbound - Trips6,9176,5146,6006,579
Other Europe3281222202205
North America452410370405
Central, South & Other Americas62566940
Asia & Middle East163127165127
Australia, New Zealand & Oceania526664119
Total outbound - Nights57,47354,01453,04652,078
Other Europe32,3691,9661,4441,879
North America5,9475,7255,5765,455
Central, South & Other Americas825904985480
Asia & Middle East3,0012,2322,7552,395
Australia, New Zealand & Oceania1,5151,8051,5923,678
Average length of stay8.
Other Europe38.
North America13.
Central, South & Other Americas13.216.114.311.9
Asia & Middle East18.417.516.718.9
Australia, New Zealand & Oceania29.027.525.031.0
    € million
Total outbound - Expenditure5,895.75,408.15,345.25,392.5
Other Europe3237.4202.2148.1186.9
North America876.5785.1760.4791.1
Central, South & Other Americas150.7127.3135.779.4
Asia & Middle East411.9332.7344.2343.1
Australia, New Zealand & Oceania135.1195.6178.0377.0
1From 2012 onwards expenditure includes expenditure on car imports in the region of €150m for the year.
2From 1st July 2013, EU includes Croatia.
3Other Europe includes Croatia until the 30th June 2013.
Source: CSO    

Interactive tables: StatBank link


Almost 6.6 million outbound trips were undertaken by Irish residents in 2013. The average length of stay on outbound trips was 7.9 nights, varying between 6.7 nights within the European Union, 13.5 nights in North America and 31.0 nights in Australia, New Zealand and Oceania. Irish residents spent a total of €5,392.5 million on outbound trips during 2013, almost two thirds (65%) of this expenditure was spent within the European Union.

18.4 Domestic travel (overnight trips) by Irish residents - number of trips, number of nights, average length of stay and expenditure
       by reason for journey, 2010 - 2013
Total Domestic - Trips7,3007,1697,0317,111
Visiting friends/relatives1,9972,2312,3742,452
Education & training12983118109
Sporting events237238254223
Work/looking for work1131219967
Total Domestic - Nights22,54021,62820,12020,649
Visiting friends/relatives5,3465,8176,1946,046
Education & training672395689500
Sporting events478524509423
Work/looking for work275307336197
Average Length of Stay3.
Visiting friends/relatives2.
Education & training5.
Sporting events2.
Work/looking for work2.
    € million
Total Domestic - Expenditure1,560.51,415.91,345.41,373.2
Visiting friends/relatives270.5265.9269.6266.7
Education & training40.526.535.533.1
Sporting events54.
Work/looking for work19.523.428.713.5
1 Other includes Health & Medical, Religious, Shopping and other reasons not elsewhere specified.
Source: CSO    

Interactive table: StatBank link


In 2013, Irish residents took over 7.1 million domestic trips. The average length of stay on domestic trips was 2.9 nights, resulting in a total of 20.6 million bed nights. Almost half of all domestic trips (49%) were classified as holidays, while 34% were to visit friends or relatives. Total expenditure on domestic trips for 2013 amounted to €1,373.2 million.  Expenditure by Irish residents on holidays rose by 7.1% in 2013 to €840.3 million.


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