07 May 2024

Tourism NI welcomes record breaking visitor numbers from the Republic of Ireland in 2023

Figures show overnight trips from RoI increased by 46% and spending was up by £86.6m.

Tourism NI has welcomed new figures showing Northern Ireland attracted unprecedented numbers of overnight visitors from the Republic of Ireland in 2023, and the amount they spent on those trips increased significantly compared with 2022.

According to figures released by the Republic of Ireland’s Central Statistics Office, 1.3m overnight trips were taken by visitors from the Republic to Northern Ireland in 2023, up 46% compared to 2022.

These trips translated into almost 3m overnight stays and spend of more than £267m, an increase of 48% on the numbers recorded in 2022.

The CSO data showed that all types of tourism grew rapidly in 2023 – holiday trips, visiting friends and relatives, and business tourism.

Research conducted by Tourism NI has found that the vast majority of Republic of Ireland visitors to NI had their expectations matched or exceeded. The range of things to see and do, the quality of food and drink, and the warmth of the welcome were rated most highly.

Tourism NI welcomed the increase in business from the Republic of Ireland, noting that it provided a very important source of income for the tourism industry at a time when the recovery in visitors from other countries was much slower.

Tourism NI Chief Executive, John McGrillen said: “These results are exceptional, especially given the tough economic climate and the increased levels of competition from other destinations.  We are clearly reaping the rewards of additional investment in new visitor experiences in recent years, and increased marketing and promotion in the Republic of Ireland.

“Our research shows that every part of NI is benefiting from this investment and the very strong growth in visitor numbers and spend which has resulted from it. While there continue to be challenges for the industry, these results demonstrate tourism’s growth potential as we look to the future”.