Dublin the key driver of State’s tourism revenue

World Travel & Tourism Council report also finds high reliance on international visitors

Dublin generates more than half of the State’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the tourism and travel sector and is highly reliant on international visitors, according to a new study.

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) quantifies the economic and employment impact of the sector at the country and regional level. Its latest research has examined 65 cities.

Three cities in the study contribute over half of their state’s travel and tourism GDP: Prague (60.3 per cent), Dublin (59.1 per cent) and Brussels (52.6 per cent).

Dublin and Istanbul are identified as having “a very high reliance” on international demand (more than 90 per cent), which is boosted by the impact of airport revenues.

Prague, London, Amsterdam, Barcelona, and Brussels also have high reliance on international visitors, each city contributing more than 80 per cent of travel and tourism spend.

Inbound spend for Dublin in 2016 was €9.2 billion, according to the report, while the sector’s GDP contribution increased from €1.6 billion in 2006 to €2.9 billion last year. The report projected the figure will climb to €4.9 billion in 2026.


London generates more spend from international visitors than any other city in Europe.

WTTC chief executive Gloria Guevara said the London is Open campaign had given “a very strong message of welcome” to tourists from abroad.

“Uncertainty around Brexit and the impacts of terrorism will put pressure on the city’s tourism sector in 2017,” she said.

“However, our data suggests that London is well placed to be resilient against these challenges. We expect international tourism spend to increase by 7 per cent every year over the next 10 years.”

A number of other European cities were also said to be vulnerable to the impacts of terrorism, although most were said to be recovering.

Following attacks in January and November 2015, international arrivals to Paris decreased by 8 percentage points. However, forecasts suggest that tourism’s contribution is set to rise and return to 4 per cent of the city’s GDP in the coming years.

Brussels experienced a fall in international demand of 17 percentage points following the attack in March 2016.

Overall, the city’s sector grew at double the rate of Belgium’s over the past ten years (2.1 per cent per year, compared to 1.1 per cent for Belgium), and is forecast to continue to grow at a rate of 7.3 per cent per year over the next decade.

Antalya and Istanbul, both impacted by terrorism and political instability in Turkey, are expected to grow at 8.6 per cent and 9.8 per cent over the next ten years, faster than any other European cities.