The ITIC year-end report for 2009 estimates that overseas visitor numbers dropped by 12% in 2009, with an associated revenue decline of at least 20%.
Domestic tourism is estimated to have experienced an 8% drop in visits, with an associated revenue decline of over 13%.
Despite the downturn, Ireland will have earned over €5 billion from tourism this year, almost €4 billion from overseas visitors, plus almost €1.3 billion spent by Irish residents on domestic travel.
The tourism sector continues to be a valuable source of revenue to the Exchequer, yielding an estimated €1.3 billion in the current year, despite the downturn in demand.
2010 looks like another difficult year, but ITIC is confident that growth will return from each of the key overseas source markets – Britain, the US, Germany and France, albeit at moderate levels.
The report expresses concern at the precipitous fall in the UK market in recent years, but is hopeful that the decline can be arrested in 2010 and that modest growth of approximately 2% can be achieved.
ITIC is not so positive about the domestic market believing that the bottom has not yet been reached, and that renewed growth will be delayed until 2011.
To access the full Year-End Review 2009 & Outlook 2010 CLICK HERE (PDF format).
To access the accompanying press release CLICK HERE (Word format).
December 28th 2009