9% growth in value, an additional €165 million spent in the country to a total of €1.93 billion
11% increase in visitors to reach 3,892,000, almost 400,000 more than a year ago.
9% more bed nights spent in the country to just under 29m.
12% growth in holiday visits with spending up 9%
The average expenditure per visit slipped marginally to just under €500
The average stay was marginally down to 7.4 nights
Irish carriers earned an estimated €627m from overseas visitors up 12% on the same period last year
  Data and commentary refer to estimated overnights trips by overseas residents to Ireland, based on latest CSO data. Source: Tourism and Travel Quarter 2 2016, CSO statistical release, 01 September 2016







Good growth across all source markets

The first half of the year saw further impressive growth in volume and value from each of the main source markets. Happily the growth from Britain was driven mainly by upwards of 20% increase in the volume and value of holiday or leisure visits. Overall the average length of visit from British tourists slipped which is reflected in a decline in average yield. The second half of the year analysis of the British market will be particularly interesting in light of the Brexit vote this summer.

The aggregate mainland European market showed an increase of close to 10% in arrivals, with growth in expenditure lagging a little. The data would suggest a faster growth in volume from markets other than the top producing German and French markets. The drop in revenue from Germany looks odd and may be an outlier, so caution is advisable in interpreting the data at sub-European level.

The rate of revenue growth from North America is perhaps disappointing given the continued strength of the US dollar and the reported increase in length of stay. The result is somewhat at odds with the expenditure pattern over the past two years where the rate of growth in tourism income outpaced the volume growth to provide significant incremental increases in earnings.

The relative slower growth from Rest of the World reflects a dip in demand from Australia & New Zealand while the new developing markets continued to produce single digit growth. The growth in yield is largely a function of higher spending visitors and longer stays from this market.



The increase in holiday or leisure visitors over the first six months was the main driver of the overall increase in arrivals. The number of holiday visits increased by 12% compared to a year earlier to an estimated 1.9 million. Receipts from holiday visits are estimated to have increased by 9% to €1 billion.

Holiday visitors accounted for at least half of the additional 400,000 visits over the first half of the year. Of the estimated 200,000 additional holiday visitors, 100,000 came from Britain, 70,000 from mainland Europe and 30,000 from North America.

Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) visits grew by 10% to an estimated 1.15m with a slightly higher rate of growth in expenditure by this segment, yielding an estimated €390m.

Business visitors were up 11%, estimated at just over 680,000. However, the average yield per visit showed a drop as the aggregate income grew by 7% to just short of €350m.


Almost 29 million nights were spent in the country by overseas visitors over the first six months of the year. This was a 9% increase on the previous year or an extra 2.5 million bed nights. Continental European visitors were the top source of demand, accounting for 45% of total bednights in the country, followed by British and long haul visitors.

At least 56% of bednights were spent in ‘paid for’ accommodation businesses - hotels, guesthouses, B&Bs and rented accommodation. Together they catered for 16 million bednights, up 11% compared to a year ago. Overall there would appear to have been little change in the spread of demand across the accommodation options.

Hotels catered to an estimated 8.1 million bednights, a 11% increase on the same period a year ago. Growth in demand was evident across the top source markets with 3.1 million from Continental Europe (+12%); 2.2 million each from North America (+5%) and Britain (+17%); and just under 0.6 million from the rest of the world (no change). Hotels held their market share position at 28%.

Demand for Guesthouses & B&Bs rose by close to 20% increase to just over 3 million bednights. Mainland Europe continues to be the prime source of business for the sector, the source of at least half of demand, with a continuation of growth in demand from North America.

The growth in demand for rented accommodation appears to have slowed over the first half of the year. The sector catered to just under 5 million a 6% increase on a year ago. This might appear to be contrary to expectations with the reported rise in the use of Airbnb, although some renters may have been classified under ‘other accommodation’.







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