Ireland welcomed over 900,000 international tourists in September this year

A total of 900,000 international tourists visited Ireland last month, around 9% less compared to the same period in 2019.

Data provided by the Irish Confederation of the Tourism Industry (ITIC) revealed that so far this year visitor numbers have fallen by 20%, reports.

Furthermore, the same shows that in September this year, Ireland was visited by 338,000 people from mainland Europe, which means 5% less than in 2019, which also makes it the best performing market.

During the same month, the North American market also continued its recovery, with 230,000 visitors.

The ITIC also pointed out that the recovery of the sector was seriously threatened by the increase in cost inflation, the energy crisis and supply constraints.

“Members such as hotels and restaurants were reporting that energy bills had reached unsustainable and unprecedented levels, warning that profit margins were under serious pressure,” CEO of ITIC Eoghan O’Mara Walsh, pointed out in this regard.

Walsh also welcomed the temporary business energy support package announced in last month’s budget. On the other hand, he criticized the government for not having extended the tourist VAT rate of 9% beyond February.

According to him, around 20,000 tourism and hospitality businesses are facing rising energy and cost inflation.

“The idea that the government would make it worse for businesses at the start of next year by raising the VAT rate by 50% beggars belief,” he also noted.

Earlier, data from Ireland’s Central Statistics Office (CSO) revealed that this year the the number of arrivals abroad has reached 88% of pre-pandemic levels.

Meanwhile, air and sea travel statistics show that in the same month more than 1,703,200 foreign passengers arrived in Ireland. As a result, this represents a dramatic recovery from June last year, when the country recorded just 160,000 arrivals.

In addition, the CSO said overseas arrivals still remained 12% below levels in June 2019, when around 1,941,100 passengers arrived in Ireland.

However, in June the recovery spread to all major roads. Regarding continental routes, it was found that the Spanish lines were the busiest with around 250,800 passengers arriving on the Spanish lines, more than seventeen times compared to June last year.

At the same time, when considered in general terms, Britain was the main country of departure for foreign travelers to Ireland. In 2020, around 530,600 passengers from Britain arrived by air and sea.

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