Foreign visitors spent close to €700m in State in October

Some 577,400 foreign residents spent at least one night in Ireland last month

Some 577,400 foreign visitors took overnight trips to the Republic in October, spending a total of €695.1 million in the domestic economy, according to the latest tourism data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Tourism numbers have declined from their summer peak, with overnight foreign visitor numbers in October declining from 582,100 in September, and from a high of 737,600 in August.

The CSO said a total of 1,829,700 passengers departed the State on overseas routes in October.

The majority (59.3 per cent) were Irish residents leaving the country, while some 31.6 per cent of departing passengers were foreign resident visitors who were leaving Ireland after staying at least one night.

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Among foreign visitors, some 204,700 (35.5 per cent) came from Britain, while 122,100 (21.2 per cent) came from the US. Other countries that saw high numbers of residents coming to Ireland included Germany, Spain, Portugal, France, Benelux countries and Italy.

The CSO figures do not include visitors to the Republic from the North.

The most frequent reason cited by foreign residents for visiting the State in October was holiday or leisure (46.5 per cent), followed by visiting friends or relatives (31.4 per cent) and business or work (15.9 per cent).

Foreign resident overnight visitors spent a total of 3,958,200 nights in the State, with hotels being the main accommodation type for 46.1 per cent of visitors. A further 37.8 per cent of visitors stayed in their own property or with friends or relatives, while 5.3 per cent used guest houses or bed and breakfasts, and 5.2 per cent used self-catering or rented properties.

Foreign resident overnight visitors spent €695.1 million during their trips to Ireland in October, down from €800.1 million in September and €996.1 million in August, in line with falling tourist numbers.

The costliest expense for visitors was day-to-day spending, including eating out, entrance fees and public transport, which accounted for 35.7 per cent of their total spend. This was closely followed by accommodation which added up to 34.3 per cent of expenditure, with travel fares costing 25.8 per cent of the total, and prepaid items such as car hire and tickets comprising just 4.3 per cent of overall spending.

Gregg Patrick, statistician in the tourism and travel division of the CSO, said that typically foreign visitors stayed 6.9 nights in the State in October, and the mean cost of their visit was €1,204, “comprising €311 on fare, €52 on prepayments, €412 on accommodation, and €429 on day-to-day expenditure”.

Ellen O'Regan

Ellen O’Regan

Ellen O’Regan is an Irish Times journalist.