Spending by overseas travellers to Ireland up 4.5%
Visitors make 6.5 million trips in 2012 spending some €3.7 million in economy
Tourists walk in St Stephen’s Green in Dublin. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times
The money spent by overseas travellers to Ireland increased by 4.5 per cent last year to almost €3.7 billion, while the number of trips made was up marginally.
Some 6.517 million trips were made to Ireland by non-residents in 2012, up 0.2 per cent on the previous year. total spending was €3,683 million compared to €3,525 million the previous year.
Tourism and travel statistics for 2012 published by the Central Statistics Office show the number of nights spent in Ireland by overseas travellers decreased, however.
The number of nights spent fell by 4.7 per cent from 50.3 million to 47.9 million, although the number of hotel bed-nights was actually up by 13 per cent to 14.2 million.
Trips here by British residents fell by some 104,000 or 3.6 per cent in 2012.
Business trips to Ireland showed the largest increase, rising from 1.098 million trips to 1.182 million trips, or 7.7 per cent.
Some 42 per cent of all overnight trips and 53 per cent of same-day trips here were made by British residents, while almos t a third of all overseas trips to Ireland happened in the third quarter of 2012.
Britishresidents occupied nearly a million fewer bed nights in 2012.
The CSO said that of the €819 million spent by British residents, some 36 per cent of that was spent on holiday/leisure visits, 33 per cent was on trips to visit friends and relatives and 26 per cent was on business visits.
Last year, the number of trips made by Irish residents overseas increased
by 33,0000 (0.5 per cent), from 6.293 million to 6.326 million.
Total spending by Irish residents on overseas travel and tourism fell, however, by 5.8 per cent from €4,762 million to €4,487 million.
The number of overseas business trips and trips to visit friends and relatives abroad were up by 96,000 and 58,000 respectively. Holiday and leisure trips by Irish people fell by 21,0000, while trips for other reasons showed a drop of 99,000.
Irish trips on cross-channel routes fell by 66,000 or 2.5 per cent, while trips on continental routes were up by 98,000 to 3.397 million. The CSO also reported a marginal increase of 0.3 per cent in the number of Irish people making transatlantic trips, from 305,000 to 306,000.
The difference between spending by visitors to Ireland and spending by Irish citizens travelling abroad resulted in a decrease in the so-called travel annual deficit by 35 per cent from €1.237 million to €804 million, the CSO said.
Sample surveys carried out on passengers at airports and seports are used to compile the travel statistics.
These are used in conjunction with passenger figures supplied by the air and sea transport companies to provide estimates for overseas tourism and travel.