Visitors to Ireland increased almost 60% last month

Latest official statistics also show significant increase in people leaving Ireland in August

Statistics for August show a  substantial increase in overseas travel compared to the previous month. Photograph: Kate Geraghty

Statistics for August show a substantial increase in overseas travel compared to the previous month. Photograph: Kate Geraghty


The number of overseas visitors to Ireland increased by almost 60 per cent last month when compared with July, the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show.

August saw 362,600 overseas arrivals and 328,200 departures. These compare with 227,300 arrivals and 275,400 departures in the previous month, increases of 59.5 per cent and 19.2 per cent respectively, reflecting the restart of air travel following changes to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions earlier in the year.

Nevertheless, overseas travel in August this year emained dramatically lower than in August 2019, when there were 2,256,500 arrivals and 2,191,900 departures, representing falls of 83.9 per cent and 85 per cent respectively due to the impact of the pandemic on global travel.

Of the 362,600 people arriving in Ireland in August, 85.9 per cent arrived by air and 14.1 per cent arrived by sea. Of the 328,200 people leaving Ireland, 83.9 per cent left by air and 16.1 per cent by sea.

Of those arriving in the country, 112,600 (31.1 per cent) came by cross-channel routes, 228,700 (63.1 per cent) by continental routes, 11,600 (3.2 per cent) on transatlantic flights and 9,700 (2.7 per cent) by other overseas routes.

The corresponding figures for those leaving Ireland were 125,400 (38.2 per cent), 186,000 (56.7 per cent), 7,800 (2.4 per cent) and 9,000 (2.8 per cent) respectively.

The most important countries for people travelling to Ireland were Britain (112,600), Spain (33,600) and Poland (31,700). For travel from Ireland, the highest numbers went to Britain (125,400), Poland (23,900) and Italy (23,300).

For the year-to-date (January-August), 3,776,600 people arrived in Ireland from overseas and 3,776,900 departed. These represent decreases of 72.7 per cent and 72.8 per cent respectively compared to the same period in 2019.

CSO statistician Gregg Patrick said the statistics for August show “a very substantial increase” in overseas travel compared to the preceding month.

“When we look at the year-to-date picture, the statistics show 3.8 million overseas passengers travelled to and from Ireland,” he said.

“This compares to almost 14 million overseas passengers in the same period on 2019, a decrease of almost 73 per cent. This illustrates the continuing and dramatic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on international travel to and from Ireland.”