Thursday 22 February 2018

Irish the most travelled nation on earth, new data reveals

Overseas trips continue to rise

Stock photo: Deposit Photos
Stock photo: Deposit Photos
Photo: Deposit
Dublin Airport: Over 3 million passengers in July 2017
Flying high. Photo: Deposit
A woman waits for her flight. Photo: Getty
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

Ireland is "the most globe-trotting nation" on the planet, according to data based on holiday bookings to 170 countries.

Research looking at overseas and domestic holiday bookings since 2014, and calculated per head of population, found people living in Ireland to be the most travelled.

Australia and New Zealand ranked second and third in the data, published by Hostelworld, the online hostel-booking platform.

Hostelworld's 10 most travelled nations (per capita)

  1. Ireland
  2. Australia
  3. New Zealand
  4. England
  5. Canada
  6. Netherlands
  7. Switzerland
  8. Scotland
  9. Sweden
  10. Denmark

Overseas trips from Ireland plunged during the post-Celtic Tiger recession, but have been steadily picking up since 2011, according to the Central Statistics Office.

In 2016, 7.4 million overseas trips by Irish residents were recorded - up 6pc from the previous year, and with no signs of slowing down.

Dublin Airport: Over 3 million passengers in July 2017
Dublin Airport: Over 3 million passengers in July 2017

73pc of its members have seen bookings rise between April and June of this year, according to the latest quarterly survey by the Irish Travel Agents' Association (ITAA).

Spain (including the Canary and Balearic Islands) is Ireland's favourite overseas holiday destination, according to the ITAA - followed by Portugal and the USA.

Hostelworld's data, based on some seven million bookings a year for hotels, B&Bs, apartments and campsites as well as hostels, shows Irish people also love their staycations - with Dublin, Galway, Cork and Belfast among the ten most-booked destinations.

Hostelworld's Top 10 destinations booked by Irish residents

Nerja, on Spain's Costa del Sol
Nerja, on Spain's Costa del Sol
  1. Dublin
  2. Galway
  3. London
  4. Amsterdam
  5. Berlin
  6. Budapest
  7. Cork
  8. Prague
  9. Belfast
  10. Barcelona

In an encouraging sign for inbound tourism, Ireland also ranked 8th on the platform's list of countries receiving most bookings - behind titans like Spain, the USA and Italy, but ahead of France - the most visited destination in the world for 2016, according to the UN World Tourism Organisation.

The news comes as Dublin Airport reported its busiest-ever July, with 3.1 million passengers - the first time in its 77-year history that more than three million customers were facilitated in a single month.

In terms of pure volume (i.e. not adjusted for population size), people living in the USA make the most bookings, Hostelworld found, followed by England, Germany, Australia and Canada.

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