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Overseas Trips Decreased by 4.2% in 2011

Overseas Trips Decreased by 4.2% in 2011

In 2011 the number of overseas trips made by Irish residents fell by 4.2%, from 6.7 million to 6.4 million trips, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office. Total overseas tourism and travel expenditure of Irish residents declined by 7.2%, from €5,211 million in 2010 to €4,835 million in 2011.

CSO 2011 Figures

The number of overseas trips to Ireland by non-residents increased by 7.9% from 6.1 million in 2010 to 6.6 million trips in 2011. The number of nights spent in Ireland by overseas travellers rose by 6.1% in 2011, up from 48 million to 50.9 million. Expenditure in Ireland by overseas travellers increased by 0.7% between 2010 and 2011, from €3,556 million to €3,580 million.

Overseas Travel by Irish Residents

The number of overseas trips made by Irish residents fell by 277,000 (-4.2%) in 2011, from 6.7 million to 6.4 million. The number of overseas travellers for the purposes of visits to friends/relatives and holiday/leisure/recreation fell by 176,000 (-10.7%) and 95,000 (-2.3%) respectively. While the number of Irish residents travelling overseas on cross-channel routes fell by 135,000 (-4.7%) and continental routes fell by 111,000 (-3.2%), the routes that experienced the largest percentage decline were the transatlantic routes, which fell by 9.3% (-31,000 trips). The average length of stay by Irish residents on overseas trips fell from 8.5 nights to 8.4 nights.

Between 2010 and 2011, the total expenditure (including fares) of Irish residents on overseas trips fell by €329 million (-5.7%) from €5,801 million to €5,472 million. Expenditure on overseas visits to friends/relatives fell by €136 million (-14.3%) while expenditure on journeys for holiday/leisure/recreation purposes fell by €197 million (-4.8%). When adjusted to exclude fares to Irish carriers, overseas tourism and travel expenditure by Irish residents declined by 7.2% from €5,211 million in 2010 to €4,835 million in 2011.

Overseas Travel to Ireland

In 2011, over 6.6 million overseas trips were made to Ireland compared to just over 6.1 million trips in 2010, an increase of 7.9%. The number of overseas trips on cross-channel and continental routes rose by 7.7% and 11.1% respectively, while transatlantic routes experienced a decrease of 1.5%. The largest increase in overseas travellers was by Other Europe (excluding Britain) residents, who made 238,000 additional trips in 2011 compared to 2010, an increase of 11.4%. The number of overseas trips made by residents of Britain increased by 123,000 (+4.4%) in 2011. The largest increase in the number of overseas trips to Ireland by reason for journey occurred among those coming for the purpose of holiday/leisure/recreation. These trips rose by 274,000, a rise of 10.9% compared with 2010.

The number of bed nights occupied by overseas travellers to Ireland rose by 6.1% in 2011, increasing from 48 million to 50.9 million bed nights. The largest increase in the number of bed nights was in the category Other Europe residents (excluding Britain), with an additional 2.3 million bed nights (+10.8 %) between 2010 and 2011. The largest increase by reason occurred among those coming to Ireland for Other reasons, which rose by over 2.7 million bed nights from 8.2 million to 10.9 million nights. The number of nights spent in hotels rose by over 1.5 million in 2011. The average length of stay by overseas travellers to Ireland fell from 7.8 nights to 7.7 nights.

Total overseas tourism and travel earnings increased from €3,556 million in 2010 to €3,580 million in 2011. Excluding fares, expenditure decreased by 0.7%, from €2,976 million to €2,954 million. Of this €2,954 million, 51% was spent by travellers for holiday/leisure/recreation purposes, 22% by those travelling to visit friends/relatives, 16% by business travellers and the remaining 11% by those travelling for Other reasons. Based on the area of residence of the overseas traveller, the most important markets in terms of expenditure (excluding fares) within Ireland were Other Europe (excluding Britain) 39%, Britain 29% and USA & Canada 24%.

Tourism & Travel Earnings and Expenditure

During the period 2010 to 2011, earnings from trips to Ireland (inflow) rose marginally by 0.7%, from €3,556 million to €3,580 million, while expenditure by Irish travellers overseas (outflow) fell by 7.2%, from €5,211 million to €4,835 million. As a result, the tourism and travel annual deficit decreased by 24.2%, from -€1,655 million to -€1,255 million.

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, copywriter, editor and proofreader for 50 years, and News & Features Editor for ‘Irish Travel Trade News’ for the past 40 years.

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