Irish residents took more than 21m overnight trips last year – CSO

€5.3bn spent on holidays abroad in 2019; increase on 2018 in number of domestic trips taken

The average length of stay on outbound trips was 7.2 nights. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

The average length of stay on outbound trips was 7.2 nights. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

 

Irish residents took more than 21 million overnight trips last year, according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The number of domestic trips taken by Irish residents was 11.6 million, an increase of 6.4 per cent when compared to 2018, while the number of outbound trips rose by 8.2 per cent to 9.4 million trips.

According to the CSO’s 2019 household travel survey, half of all domestic trips (50.1 per cent) were classified as holidays while over 3.8 million trips (33.1 per cent) were to visit friends or relatives.

The remaining trips were taken for other reasons such as business, education, shopping or sporting activities.

Total expenditure on domestic trips in 2019 amounted to €2.1 billion, up from €2 billion in 2018.

People on holidays accounted for €1.3 billion of this spending, while those visiting friends or relatives spent €372 million in 2019.

Irish residents travelling abroad availed of a total of 66.9 million bed nights in 2019, with almost three quarters of those bed nights being within the European Union.

The average length of stay on outbound trips was 7.2 nights, varying from 6.2 nights within the European Union, 13.6 nights in North America and 20.8 nights in Australia, New Zealand and Oceania.

Some €8.2 billion was spent by Irish residents on outbound trips in 2019, of which €5.3 billion, or 64.7 per cent, was spent on holidays.

Irish residents staying in hotel accommodation abroad accounted for 23.3 million nights in 2019, while those staying in self-catering/rented house accounted for 16.6 million nights.

Meanwhile, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge effect on tourism in Ireland this year, with the country’s tourism board Fáilte Ireland encouraging residents to holiday at home, instead of abroad.

Earlier this week, the CSO reported that more than 362,000 passengers arrived into Ireland on overseas routes in August, which was considerably lower than the 2 million tourists arriving into the country in the same month last year.

However, August’s figures were 60 per cent increase on July, during which 227,300 passengers arrived into Ireland from abroad.