Ireland Travel Statistics

Updated On: September 14, 2022

Ireland Travel Statistics

While the Irish love their country, they also love to travel. According to a study back in 2017, the Irish were found to be the most globe-trotting people, whether to domestic destinations or abroad. The Covid-19 pandemic affected the traveling market in Ireland greatly, and every aspect of the tourism industry as well, including travel agents, and booking domestic or international travels, which is made clear by the recent Ireland Travel Statistics.

In this article, we will take a trip through traveling and what it means for the Irish people, with a focus on the most recent travel agent statistics. And we will end with some of the top tips, some your travel agent will mention and some of ours, that you need to know before booking your next trip, and hopefully it’s to visit the Republic of Ireland.

Ireland Travel Statistics: Traveling for the Irish People

Back in 2017 and according to data revealed by Hostelworld; an online hostel booking service, revealed that the Irish people have booked the most rooms since 2014, followed by Australia, and New Zealand while England came in fourth, after analyzing hotel bookings made to 170 countries around the world.

The Irish Travel Agents’ Association conducted a survey where 73% of its members stated an increase in bookings between April and June of 2016. Irish residents took a total of 7.4 million trips during the same year, which represented a 6% increase from the previous year.

The ITAA stated that there are several overseas destinations that the Irish prefer over other ones, Spain came in first, including both the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands, followed by Portugal and the USA came in third place.

When it came to staycations, Hostelworld provided data based on about 7 million bookings to different accommodations around Ireland including hotels, hostels, B&B, guesthouses, and campsites, showing that the Irish love staycations as well. The most visited domestic destinations had Dublin, Belfast, Galway, and Cork among the 10 most visited.

Putting the data altogether by Hostelworld, to sum up, the most booked destinations by Irish tourists, the order came Dublin, Galway, London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Budapest, Cork, Prague, Belfast, and lastly Barcelona.

Latest Air and Sea Travel Statistics 2022 – Central Statistics Office

The CSO or the Central Statistics Office is the national statistical body in Ireland and its mission is to neutrally collect and analyze data about the Irish people, their interests, economy, culture, and society. The office’s latest statistics and findings, as well as older reports, can be found on its official website.

One of the main fields the CSO surveys and collects data about is the Travel and Tourism industry and they’ve recently published their latest report about traveling by both air and sea. The report included these numbers:

  1. Overseas passengers arriving in Ireland during June 2022 were more than 1,703,200 passengers. This is in comparison to the same month of June 2021 when only 160,000 passengers arrived in Ireland. This increase is a stark contrast to the small number of overseas passengers arriving in Ireland in June 2020, when only 57,100 passengers arrived.
  2. Of the total number of overseas passengers, 1,605,700 arrived by air, while the remaining 97,500 arrived in Ireland by sea.
  3. The overseas country with the largest number of overseas passengers who came through it was Great Britain with 530,600, more than other countries. This number is a significant increase from the 57,700 arriving through Great Britain in June 2021.
  4. Despite these increasing numbers, they’re still 12% lower than the numbers arriving in Ireland in June 2019, when more than 1,941,100 passengers arrived.

The hard times inflicted by the Covid-19 pandemic have had their toll on the travel and tourism industry. Traffic through the main arrival methods to Ireland, air and sea, is still recovering and the numbers are expected to increase especially since the peak season has started.

Travel Agent Statistics Ireland

Travel agents are the link between travelers and their desired destination, by helping you with bookings, packages, tips, and itineraries, their roles are often overlooked when looking into statistics about the tourism and travel industry. What a travel agent offers you is in-depth insight about your destination and the great deals available that work best for you, not to mention that they can offer you great alternatives to any business that might collapse all of a sudden.

In the Republic of Ireland, there’s the ITAA or the Irish Travel Agents Association, which is a certified membership body where there are about 100 registered travel agents, that represent more than 140 retailers. The association also conducts surveys of its registered travel agents to keep up to date with the latest changes in the travel industry and publishes the results on its official website.

According to the second quarterly statistics report published by the ITAA, bookings have been on the rise in the second quarter of 2022 and they’ve begun to show a steady increase going into the sunny months of the year, which represent the peak season for Irish tourism. These latest statistics state the following:

  1. More than 10% of travel agents who are members of the ITAA had an increase in their bookings for the second quarter of 2022 which is from April to June, in comparison to the same period back in 2019.
  2. Even though there were many problems facing holidaymakers after nearly two years of no traveling, such as passport renewals, airport delays, and airline problems, there has been a 55% increase in the total turnover in the second quarter of 2022 according to the surveyed travel agents. This is accompanied by more than one in five travel agents stating they’d seen an increase in the number of bookings.
  3. More than 80% of the travel agents surveyed cited several European destinations as the most favorable for a sunny holiday experience. These destinations had Portugal, Spain, and Italy as the top sunny destinations. There were several other travel destinations as well on the list that included sports travel, honeymooners, adventure holidays, city breaks, sightseeing, couples holiday as well as cultural holidays.
  4. The approach of the peak season and the summer months, resulted in an additional 10% increase in bookings as well as a 10% increase in travel.
  5. The top destinations for overseas traveling during the second quarter of 2022 had Spain, Portugal, and the USA as the top destinations. With the reopening of borders, long-haul flights have also started to come back, with trips to both Australia and New Zealand and adding Thailand to the list.
  6. Almost 70% of the ITAA customers are in fact recurring customers and the number is still on the rise, with the increase in demand for traveling, as the world learns to live and cope with Covid-19.

One of the best features offered by the ITAA official website is you can check their Travel Offers, which will allow you to choose the type or purpose of your holiday and will show you recommended offers and the travel agents that offer them.

Tips from Travel Agents When Visiting Ireland

Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle due to its wondrous shades of green, some say there are over 40 shades of green on the island, I had no idea that’s even possible but it’s made the island a loveable destination by many, and those who visit for the first time, leave with a promise to come back again when possible.

If this isn’t your first time visiting Ireland, then some of these might seem familiar to you. But a little reminder wouldn’t hurt:

1.    Irish Weather:

Rain in Ireland is a daily expectation; hence the island’s lush greenery. Make sure to pack for the season but always add a raincoat or an umbrella as the latest travel to Ireland must-have. You can experience all different seasons in just one day, so you should embrace this as a part of the experience of visiting the island and enjoy your time nonetheless.

2.    Ireland and Northern Ireland:

Both The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland make up the Isle of Ireland, which is the second most populated European island. It matters to know the difference between the ROI and NI because if you’re in the ROI for example and your next stop is in NI then you’ll have to cross the border since NI is part of the United Kingdom.

3.    Currency Dilemma:

As a result of the difference in countries between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, they both use different currencies. So, while you will need Euros during your time in the ROI, you will need Sterling Pounds when you’re in Northern Ireland. However, the widespread existence of ATMs as well as currency exchanges makes this currency exchange much easier.

4.    Travel Insurance:

Travel insurance is important to have whatever your destination is, and it’s been important even before the Covid-19 pandemic. Ireland is considered a pretty safe country to travel to and the rates of crime are not high. However, it’s better to be prepared than being sorry, this is why it’s vital to get specific Ireland Travel Insurance to cover anything that might happen while you’re in Ireland.

5.    How Much Time Do You Need:

How much time do you need to explore Ireland? Well, you could easily spend a month and you’d be fully saturated with the experience and you won’t even feel bored at all. The recommended amount of time is about 7 days, this will allow you to live the experience and enjoy your time as well as not feel rushed to get through all the items on your itinerary.

6.    Dublin and Other Counties:

The capital city Dublin is so tempting that it will lure you in and you’d be tempted to spend all your time in the city. And why not? The city has everything you might think of during a vacation, great places to visit, greenery, pub culture, and intricate architecture.

But, if you ask Dubliners, they will admit that the best part about living in Ireland is what lies beyond the city. It’s easy to book day trips outside of Dublin to sample the lush Irish green scene, but your Ireland experience will not be complete unless you book a day or two in one of the other Irish cities, villages, or other counties. One factor to encourage you to make such a trip is that Dublin; being the capital city, is much more expensive than these other cities or places.

7.    What The Craic:

The Craic is a word that you’ll be hearing quite often during your visit to Ireland, and you will hear it paired with almost everything in the country. The word itself can also mean so many things, depending on the context of the speech, but it usually doesn’t defer from meaning “good times”, “entertainment” or “party”. Beware though, it can be used to mean either “chatter” or “gossip” so better pay attention to what’s being said.

If anything, the craic is at the heart of many conversations you can be a part of in Ireland, so put away your mobile phone and immerse yourself in deep conversation with the locals. Otherwise, how are you going to live the experience?

8.    Visiting the Cliffs of Moher:

If this is your time visiting Ireland, then you must visit the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare. The cliffs over a breathtaking view over the Atlantic Ocean. With the views they offer, the cliffs are one of the most visited attractions in Ireland, which means it can get really crowded over there. So, the best thing to do is to try and time your arrival to the time they open to visitors at 8:00 am. This will allow you some time alone with the cliffs, to breathe in your surroundings and take some perfect shots.

9.    Tipping in Restaurants and Pubs:

While the entire tipping culture is not widespread as it is in the United States, for example, it’s still a bit nice if you’d tip about 10% or 15% of the tab whether at a restaurant or a pub. If you’re a large group together, a service tab is usually added to your cheque. As for taxis, it’s not customary to tip but it never hurt anyone.

10. Touristic Seasons:

As with any country around the world, tourism in Ireland is highly seasonal with July and August being the peak months and the winter months, in general, being the less popular. However, planning your trip and itinerary will differ slightly depending on the season you choose. One important thing to keep in mind is booking flights as well as accommodation will definitely be pricier during the peak season, more than any other time of the year. So, be sure to book your tickets in advance and keep an eye out for any deals or discounts.

Or you can either try to visit during what’s called the Shoulder season, which includes the months of April, May, June, September, and October. The prices during this season are less than the peak season and the weather is bearable since we’re talking about Irish weather here. If you opt for visiting during the winter season, you might find some rural attractions either have limited visiting hours or are closed due to the weather, while the major attractions are usually open.

11. Choose Any of the Five Airports in Ireland:

When looking at flights to Ireland, cheap flights that are, you need to know there are four other international airports in Ireland, besides Dublin Airport. These other airports are Shannon Airport, Cork Airport, Knock Airport, and Belfast Airport. It’s true that there are more international flights arriving at Dublin Airport, but when you need to think about a budget, it might be worth checking other airports as well.

12. Ireland is Budget Friendly:

You can still enjoy your visit to Ireland even if you’re on a budget, this is because, in comparison with many other European destinations, Ireland is quite affordable. Some of the things to put in mind while arranging your trip are:

  • There’s a wide array of hostels and small inns in Ireland and booking one will save you a lot of money, this is mainly due to a large number of students and backpackers staying in Ireland, and these accommodation options help accommodate for this number.
  • The public transport system in Ireland is pretty organized and you can save a lot of money if you opt for using public buses to get around.
  • If your booked room or apartment has a small kitchen, this can be great to cook up some meals and save on cash. While no one thinks about cooking as part of a vacation, but this can help with quick meals.

13. Live the Irish Countryside Experience:

While it’s easy to explore Ireland through public transport since they have a great public transport system or even through the services of a tour company that will take you places and shows you around. You’ll love the island just the same, but you’ll love it even more with the added adventure of making little discoveries along the way while you drive.

Organized tours can be a bit strict and on time, while renting a car and driving around will allow you more time to explore your surroundings. You might find an ancient castle hiding behind dense trees or you can even go on a road trip to discover the filming sites of the history-making show Game of Thrones. Not to mention, you’ll be driving through the Irish countryside, which is magical on its own, and with your own wheels, you have all the time you need to fill your lungs, eyes, and heart with its beauty.

14. Driving in Ireland:

If you’re going to rent a car in Ireland, either ROI or NI, then you need to know that you’ll be driving on the left side of the road. It might need a bit of getting used to but you’ll get the hang of it quickly.

15. Look Right:

Following the previous tip, driving on the left-hand side means that when you’re crossing the street you’ll need to look to your right. If you come from a country that drives on the right side of the road, then you’re used to looking left before crossing the street. It’s a bit confusing, but just remember they’re opposites.

16. Languages in Ireland:

While we all know English is widely spoken in Ireland, with the famous Irish accent of course. But, Gaelic is also an official language, besides English, according to the constitution. So, while you’ll get by just fine with your English in Ireland, you might find that the names of many places and attractions are also written in Gaelic as well as English.

I hope these tips answered as many questions about traveling to Ireland that you might have had, if you have any further questions about traveling to the Emerald Isle, drop us a comment.

We’ll be over here enjoying the craic and waiting for you!