Number of Irish taking overseas trips rises almost 7%
Total spend by Irish visiting abroad almost €7 billion last year, according to CSO
Tourists sailing near the island of Boracay in the Philippines. Irish residents spent a total of €6,891 million on outbound trips last year. Photograph: Charlie Saceda/Reuters.
The number of Irish people who took overseas trips increased by almost 7 per cent last year with the total spend outside the country put at almost €7 billion.
Figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) suggest the economic recovery is having a positive impact on people’s holiday plans with the numbers willing to spend money on trips closer to home also increasing, although by a significantly smaller margin.
The most popular tourist spots for Irish visitor remain the UK and Spain while self-catering options are proving to be increasingly popular although hotels are still dominant, according to the CSO.
The figures show that almost 8.2 million outbound trips were taken by Irish residents last year, an increase of 6.9 per cent on 2016. Irish residents spent a total of 57.7 million bed nights abroad during the year with 76 per cent of these spent within the European Union.
The average length of a stay overseas was put at 7.1 nights, varying from 6.2 nights within the EU to 12.4 nights in the United States and Canada and 25.7 nights in Australia, New Zealand and Oceania.
The UK and Spain remained the two most popular destinations in terms of trip numbers with 679,000 and 308,000 people respectively travelling to the two countries.
All told, Irish residents spent a total of €6,891 million on outbound trips last year, of which €4,338 million was spent on holidays, €914 million on business trips and €911 million on visiting friends or relatives.
Closer to home, Irish residents took more than 9.6 million domestic trips last year, up 2.9 per cent on 2016. Last year just over half of all domestic trips were classified as holidays while more than three million trips (32.2 per cent) were visits to friends or relatives.
Irish residents spent a total of €1.88 billion on domestic trips with almost €1.13 million of that said to be by those on holidays, while those visiting friends or relatives spent €353 million.