Irish residents cutting back on travel, CSO says

Latest figures show domestic trips are down 7.3 per cent

A tourist  gets airbourne on Blouberg beach near Cape Town. The latest CSO data  shows that Irish residents have cut back on their travel. Photograph: Reuters

A tourist gets airbourne on Blouberg beach near Cape Town. The latest CSO data shows that Irish residents have cut back on their travel. Photograph: Reuters

Thu, Jul 11, 2013, 15:30

The number of domestic and foreign trips taken by Irish residents has fallen at the start of the year.

According to new figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) the number of domestic trips during the first three months of the year was 7.3 per cent lower when compared to the same period twelve months earlier.

Almost 40 per cent of the 1.3 million domestic trips were classified as holidays while 41 per cent were visits to friends or relatives.

The number of trips abroad during the first three months of the year has also fallen from 1.31 million in 2012 to 1.29 million this year.

A total of €222 million was spent on domestic travel and half of this was on holidays. Some €59 million was spent on visiting family and friends.

However, during the period Irish residents spent almost five times as much, or just over €1 billion, making trips abroad. The average duration of these trips was seven nights.

About half of this was for holidays while almost €200 million was spent on business travel.

Britain remains the most popular foreign destination for Irish residents and almost 600,000 trips were made there between January and March.

Spain is the second most popular destination with more than 200,000 visits while France is third with 75,000 trips.

Although Irish residents have cut back on their domestic travel separate CSO data released earlier this year shows the number of visitors to Ireland went up 7.4 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2012.

During this period the number of visitors from North America, Great Britain and Europe increased.