Visitor numbers plumeted during volcanic ash disruption
The scale of the volcanic ash cloud disruption was laid bare today as official figures revealed trips to Ireland nosedived almost 25pc.
The number of people visiting Ireland during April was down by 151,300 when compared with the same month last year.
But the Central Statistics Office (CSO) also reported a drop of 161,500 people living in Ireland taking trips out of the country during the same period.
While some industry organisations claimed tourism was hard hit by the ash cloud at the time, Failte Ireland said an increase in "staycations" - or people holidaying at home - had boosted business.
Despite the air traffic restrictions, almost half a million (456,500) overseas visitors arrived in the Republic in April - but this was down by a quarter on the year before.
The largest fall off was from visitors from continental Europe (down 37pc) and North America (down 33pc).
Around a quarter of a million (249,900) people visited from Great Britain although that was also down 14pc since April 2009.
Some 417,900 residents in the Republic took overseas trips in the same month, a drop of 28pc.
The CSO survey was carried out at Dublin, Cork, Shannon, Knock and Kerry airports as well as Rosslare, Ringaskiddy, Dun Laoghaire and Dublin ports.