More Irish people are going abroad this summer

The total number of trips to Ireland also increased

More Irish people are going abroad this summer

Image: Torremolinos, Spain

New figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show more Irish people are going abroad for holidays.

In the period from May to July, the total number of overseas trips made by Irish residents increased by 5.1% to 2,367,500.

In the seven months to the end of July, trips by Irish residents' overseas were up by 7.9%.

While the total number of trips to Ireland increased by 4.4% to 2,967,600 - an overall increase of 124,200 compared to the same period 12 months earlier.

Trips by residents of European countries - other than Britain - increased by 5.4% to 1,075,500.

While trips by residents of North America to Ireland increased by 12.3% to 713,600.

But trips from Great Britain actually decreased by 3.8% to 978,700.

In the seven months to the end of July 2017, the total number of trips to Ireland increased by 3.1% when compared with the same period in 2016.

The total number of trips of Irish residents overseas plus trips to Ireland in May to July increased by 4.7% to 5,335,100.

New approach from Tourism Ireland 

Commenting on the figures, Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons said: "Today’s figures confirm that we welcomed almost 5.6 million overseas visitors during January to July 2017.

"As anticipated, the currency challenge for Irish tourism is very real and the drop in British visitor numbers for the January to July period reflects that.

"The decline in the value of sterling has made holidays and short breaks here more expensive for British visitors; and economic uncertainty is undoubtedly making British travellers more cautious about their discretionary spending."

"This is impacting on travel to Ireland. Therefore, competitiveness and the value for money message are more important than ever in Britain right now.

"Tourism Ireland is placing a greater focus on our ‘culturally curious’ audience, who are less impacted by currency fluctuations.

"We are also undertaking an expanded partnership programme with airlines, ferry operators and tour operators, communicating a strong price-led message."

Mr Gibbons said while North America and long-haul markets continue to perform well, the double-digit growth that was seen earlier this year has slowed.