July was Disappointing

  • The July visitor numbers from the CSO were disappointing.  They followed a downward trend which became evident in June.
  • Overall visitor numbers for July were down by 8% to 835,000.  But even that fall was cushioned by a relatively good performance from Continental Europe which managed to maintain last year’s level of visitors.
  • North America was down by 6%, but the most disappointing performance was from Great Britain which showed a drop of 17% on July of last year.
  • For the first 7 months, visitor numbers are just a whisker ahead of the same period in 2007, but given the emerging trends it now seems inevitable that this gain will be wiped out in coming months and that the year will record the first decline in visitor numbers since 2001.
  • Given the weakened condition of sterling and the dollar, allied to the trend toward shorter stays, revenue is also likely to show some weakness.
  • Weather may have been a factor in the outbound business in that Irish trips overseas were up 6% for July, and up 5.4% for the first 7 months of the year.  Though interesting, that is less than half the growth rate experienced in earlier years.  It is also apparent that in line with other markets there is a perceptible slowdown in overseas visits by the Irish.
  • These are extraordinary times and no travel destination is immune to the many ills which afflict the global economy at this time.  There is more troubling news to emerge, but also this difficult period will end, and growth will slowly return.  In the meantime there will be increased global competition for discretionary tourism from a growing number of tourism destinations in a much tighter market.
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