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Travel abroad jumped by 23% last month as 85,000 travel from Ireland overseas

The number of departures from April to May increased by a third.

THERE HAS BEEN a twenty-fold drop in overseas tourists to Ireland since the coronavirus pandemic began. 

New CSO travel figures show that overseas travel saw a jump from April to May, with 85,400 passengers arriving into Ireland on overseas routes in May 2021. 

This was up 23% on the previous month, while 97,000 passengers departed from Ireland. This was up 33% on April. 

Aside from Britain, the most important routing countries for overseas travel last month were the Netherlands (8,200 arrivals, 9,100 departures), Poland (6,500 arrivals, 7,800 departures) and Spain (6,800 arrivals, 7,300 departures).

Overseas travel was considerably higher than in May 2020, when 28,300 passengers arrived, and 36,300 passengers departed.

However it remains dramatically lower compared to prior May 2019, when 1.8m passengers arrived into Ireland and 1.85m departed. 

According to the CSO’s Air and Sea Travel statistics, it means Ireland had one overseas tourist for every 20 that we had pre-pandemic.

Last week Aer Lingus warned that the aviation sector was still suffering heavily due to the pandemic, with the company losing more than €1m a day and fearing that its Irish operations will be smaller for some time to come.

Commenting on today’s release, Gregg Patrick, CSO statistician, said the May 2021 statistics show that continental routes contributed most to the passenger traffic.

“Some 45,400 passengers arrived on continental routes and 52,900 passengers departed on continental routes. By way of contrast, 32,400 passengers arrived on cross-channel routes and 36,000 passengers departed on cross-channel routes,” he said.

Just 4,900 passengers arrived on transatlantic routes and 4,500 passengers departed on these routes.

Patrick added: “When we look at the year-to-date picture (January-May 2021), the statistics show that 379,100 overseas passengers arrived in Ireland and 408,400 overseas passengers departed from Ireland. This compares to both 3.1 million arrivals and departures in the same period in 2020 and 7.4 million arrivals and departures in the same period in 2019.

“This illustrates the ongoing dramatic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on international travel to and from Ireland.”

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