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CSO statistical release, , 11am

Air and Sea Travel Statistics

May 2020

DirectionMay January-May
20192020Change 20192020Change
Arrivals1,818.928.3-1,790.6-98.4% 7,398.23,129.5-4,268.6-57.7%
Departures1,851.636.3-1,815.2-98.0% 7,427.23,099.4-4,327.9-58.3%

Overseas arrivals fall 98.4% in May 2020

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May 2020 saw an extraordinary collapse in overseas travel to and from Ireland as the effects of the COVID-19 crisis continued. There were just 28,300 arrivals in May 2020 and 36,300 departures. This compares with monthly travel of more than 1.8 million in each direction in May 2019, an annual fall of 98% (See Table 1).

Of the 28,300 persons arriving in Ireland, 19,900 (70.3%) arrived by air and 8,400 (29.7%) arrived by sea. Of the 36,300 persons departing Ireland, 24,700 (68.0%) departed by air and 11,600 (32.0%) departed by sea (See Table 1).

Of those arriving in Ireland in May 2020, 16,400 (58.0%) came by cross-channel routes, 8,200 (29.0%) by continental routes, 1,700 (6.0%) by transatlantic routes and 2,000 (7.1%) by other overseas routes. The corresponding figures for those departing Ireland were 18,700 (51.5%), 14,600 (40.2%), 1,700 (4.7%) and 1,300 (3.6%) respectively (See Table 1).

The most important staging countries for persons travelling overseas to Ireland were Great Britain (16,400), the Netherlands (2,700) and the United States (1,700). The most important staging countries for persons travelling overseas from Ireland were Great Britain (18,700), the Netherlands (4,100) and France (3,400). (See Table 1).

For the year-to-date (January-May), 3,129,500 persons arrived in Ireland from overseas and 3,099,400 persons departed. These represent decreases of 57.7% and 58.3% respectively compared to the same period in 2019 (See Table 2).

The collection of Tourism Statistics at air and sea ports was suspended in March 2020, to protect CSO enumerators and the travelling public. As a result, the details of travel to Ireland classified by country of residence, which are presented in the monthly Overseas Travel release, are not currently being collected and that release has been temporarily suspended. To help fill the data gap, the CSO is publishing this new 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, together with data from other air and sea ports. The CSO intends to continue publishing this Air and Sea Travel Statistics release for the duration of the Covid-19 crisis.