Wednesday 26 April 2017

Revealed: The Irish counties most (and least) visited by overseas tourists

Where do tourists go?

Compact Cork is a city for walkers.
Compact Cork is a city for walkers.
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

Fáilte Ireland visitor figures provided to Independent.ie Travel give a fascinating insight into where tourists actually go.

The figures, based on rolling, three-year averages from Fáilte Ireland's Survey of Overseas Travellers, show that Dublin was Ireland's most-visited county in 2015.

No surprise there, given the capital's population, air and sea access.

But did you know Galway and Cork get more visitors than Kerry?

Or that Longford is Ireland's least-visited county, with a mere 30,000 overseas tourists spending just €8 million there last year?

Overseas visitors by county (2015)

  1. Dublin: 4,938,000
  2. Cork: 1,449,000
  3. Galway: 1,354,000
  4. Kerry: 1,026,000
  5. Clare: 597,000
  6. Limerick: 537,000
  7. Mayo: 302,000
  8. Donegal: 289,000
  9. Kilkenny: 267,000
  10. Waterford: 263,000
  11. Wicklow: 248,000
  12. Wexford: 221,000
  13. Kildare: 214,000
  14. Sligo: 186,000
  15. Tipperary: 180,000
  16. Cavan: 144,000
  17. Meath: 134,000
  18. Louth: 125,000
  19. Westmeath: 116,000
  20. Monaghan: 65,000
  21. Carlow: 62,000
  22. Laois & Leitrim: 57,000 each
  23. Offaly & Roscommon: 50,000 each
  24. Longford: 30,000

Overseas tourist revenue earned by county:

  1. Dublin: €1,726m
  2. Cork: €558m
  3. Galway: €475m
  4. Kerry: €234m
  5. Limerick: €212m
  6. Clare: €127m
  7. Kildare: €89m
  8. Donegal: €83m
  9. Wicklow: €82m
  10. Mayo: €80m
  11. Waterford: €75m
  12. Tipperary: €66m
  13. Wexford: €65m
  14. Sligo: €51m
  15. Cavan: €50m
  16. Kilkenny: €45m
  17. Meath: €44m
  18. Louth & Westmeath: €36m each
  19. Carlow: €32m
  20. Monaghan: €25m
  21. Roscommon: €20m
  22. Laois: €18m
  23. Leitrim: €15m
  24. Offaly: €14m
  25. Longford: €8m

It's interesting to note the discrepancy between visitor numbers and spend in two middle-ranking counties. Kildare is the 13th most visited, for instance, but the 7th highest-earner from overseas tourism, with €87 million last year.

Conversely, while Kilkenny ranked as Ireland's 9th most visited county in 2015, it was the 16th highest-earner, drawing just €45 million from overseas visitors.

NB: These figures do not take domestic tourism into account.

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