Ireland experiencing slow growth for international arrivals

Growth rates for Ireland’s arrival numbers have decreased significantly, with Compound Annual Growth Rates (CAGR) nearly half the rate for the previous years from 8.1% in 2014 to 2018, to 3.8% for 2018 to 2023, according to analytics company GlobalData.

The company’s latest report ‘Tourism Destination Market Insights: UK & Ireland – Analysis of destination markets, infrastructure and attractions, and risks and opportunities’, includes an analysis of source markets, infrastructure and attractions, and assesses the risks and opportunities for the UK & Ireland as destination markets.

“An increase of 3.9% is forecast for 2019″

Johanna Bonhill-Smith, associate analyst for travel and tourism at GlobalData, said: “Ireland received around 9.3million international arrivals in 2018 and an increase of 3.9% is forecast for 2019; urging around 9.7million international travellers to Ireland. Despite this growth, 2017 to 2018 held a yearly difference of 7%, nearly double the amount for the increase this year.”

The UK holds the top position for international arrivals presently, due to accessibility, affordability and convenience in travel to Ireland. However, due to ongoing negotiations, complete uncertainty and potential outcomes of Brexit, traveller flows have also slowly dwindled according to GlobalData, decreasing 4% from 6.8% in 2017 to 2018, to 1.7% from 2018 to 2019.

European source markets dominate the Irish international arrivals lists for 2018 with countries such as Germany, France, Italy and Spain taking the lead.

Potential European travellers could be hindered in the process of choosing Ireland as their next tourism destination, due to insecurities and feeling unwelcome due to the current political circumstances regarding Brexit. Furthermore, in order to tackle any doubt, governments, DMOs and local authorities should be working collaboratively on campaigns to further encourage European travellers to Ireland. After all, European destinations accounted for 76% of total international arrivals to Ireland in 2018, thus actions should be taken.

Further promotion campaigns such as ‘Emerald Island – Passport to the World’ in 2019, a travel documentary showcasing Ireland across Canada, has driven Canadian travellers to Ireland. Canada holds the most potential for growth out of all North American source markets.

“Canadian travellers are expected to grow by 7%”

Bonhill-Smith added: “Despite overall slowdown with international arrivals, Canada forecasts as a promising source market for Ireland. Due to cultural similarities, the emergence of new flight routes followed by an increase in promotional campaigns to this North American destination, Canadian travellers are expected to grow by 7% from 2018 to 2019, further highlighting opportunities for growth within Ireland’s source markets.”