Decrease in Irish people expecting to travel abroad this year, CSO survey shows
Overseas arrivals in January decreased by 34.3% when compared to December
More than one in four respondents (25.8 per cent) reported they will not take a holiday in 2021, compared with one in nine (11.2 per cent) that would normally not take a holiday in a typical year before the onset of Covid-19. Photograph: iStock
The number of Irish people who expect to travel abroad this year has reduced significantly in the past three months, a new survey shows, as Covid-19 continues to create uncertainty for the year ahead.
In November 2020 more than one in two (50.6 per cent) people said they expected their next international flight would be sometime in 2021, according to a survey from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
By February 2021, however, this number had decreased, with less than one in six respondents, or 15.8 per cent, anticipating travelling abroad this year.
Almost three in four respondents (73.3 per cent) reported that, in a typical year prior to the onset of Covid-19, they would take a holiday overseas, including short breaks.
The survey, which sampled 1,621 people, also found that more respondents intend to take a holiday in the Republic of Ireland of at least one week’s duration in 2021.
Some 39.4 per cent of people anticipate holidaying in Ireland, up from 30.9 per cent of people who took such a holiday prior to the onset of the pandemic.
People aged between 35 and 44 years of age were most likely to report they intend to take a holiday in Ireland, with 45.3 per cent indicating this preference.
They were also the age group to say they were most likely (17.4 per cent) to report they intend to take an overseas holiday in 2021.
More than one in four respondents (25.8 per cent) reported they will not take a holiday in 2021, compared with one in nine (11.2 per cent) that would normally not take a holiday in a typical year before the onset of Covid-19.
Separately, the CSO also published the figures for international travel in January 2021, which saw a decrease of 34.3 per cent for arrivals into the country when compared with the previous month.
In January 2021, 108,000 overseas passengers arrived in Ireland, compared to 164,400 in December 2020. Some 118,700 overseas passengers departed from Ireland during January, compared to 178,800 in December 2020, a decrease of 33.6 per cent.
Apart from Great Britain, which accounts for all cross-channel routes, the most important routing countries for overseas travel in January 2021 were Spain (14,700 arrivals, 11,700 departures), Poland (11,300 arrivals, 7,100 departures) and France (9,800 arrivals, 8,100 departures).
Since last month, all passengers arriving into the Republic’s airports and ports from overseas must provide evidence on arrival of a negative result from a Covid-19 PCR test carried out no more than 72 hours earlier.
A legal requirement to quarantine at home or at the address on the passenger locator form was also introduced for all such arrivals last month.
However, the arrival of several variants, including the South African, Brazilian and Nigerian variants, has increased pressure on the Government to get the proposed mandatory hotel quarantine regime for “high-risk” countries up and running as quickly as possible.
The Opposition has been highly critical of the planned legislation, arguing that all international travellers should be required to quarantine in hotels, with the exception of essential workers.