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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Less tourists than pre-COVID


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An estimated 1.7 million international travelers made their way to Ireland during the first quarter of the year, which is a 16 percent decrease compared to the same period in 2019, according to the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation (ITIC).

The results from the tourism lobby show that visitors from mainland Europe and North America are driving the tourism recovery rate in Ireland, while the demand from Britain, the largest source of visitors, is still below expectations.

ITIC’s tourism volume estimates compare performance to 2019, the last ordinary year for the tourism industry. The numbers are based on past performance and current trends, extracted from carrier and port data.

The group is worried that the recovery will be hindered by continued cost inflation and supply shortages in tourism accommodation and car hire.

Elaina Fitzgerald Kane, ITIC’s Chairperson, said the lack of tourism beds is a major issue for the industry. “There will be many tourism towns along the country where the lack of tourism beds will lead to a very limited tourism activity.”

Eoghan O’Mara Walsh, ITIC’s Chief Executive, added: “According to Fáilte Ireland, the impact of the government’s excessive reliance on tourism beds will cost the tourism economy €1.1 billion this year. Those affected the most are downstream tourism businesses such as attractions, cultural experiences, inbound operators, restaurants and vintners.”

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