Consumer Sentiment Analysis

Tourism NI’s Consumer Sentiment Analysis gives in depth analysis on consumer confidence, propensity to travel and consumer concerns.

 Family enjoying a stroll around the gardens at Montalto Estate.

Tourism NI has completed the latest wave (Wave 13) of our research to track consumer sentiment in the Northern Ireland (NI) and Republic of Ireland (ROI) markets, measuring travel behaviour and travel intentions for the remainder of 2023 and early 2024. 

Fieldwork was undertaken between 13 September and 27 September with a robust, nationally representative sample from both markets. Results presented below are based on a sample of 748 adults in ROI and 400 adults in NI.   

The NI report can be accessed here and the ROI report can be found here.

Key findings include:

Jan-September 2023 Visitor Volumes

  • Following on from a positive 2022, findings point to strong visitor volumes overall for the first nine months of 2023, albeit with a slight dip in domestic visitor volumes compared to when this research was conducted last year.
  • The large majority of ROI and domestic visitors said their trip matched or exceeded expectations, with the range of places to eat & drink and the welcome & hospitality being particularly highly rated by both markets.

Travel Intentions

  • For the ROI market, intentions to take a short break in NI during both October-December 2023 and Jan-April 2024 are broadly stable compared to this time last year. However, short break intentions for the domestic market have dipped.
  • To relax and unwind and to have fun are key motivators for intended NI trips for both ROI and NI consumers.
  • For both markets, intentions to take a late winter/early spring 2024 trip in ROI decline.
  • While there is a marginal increase in intentions to take a short break abroad in winter 2023 and early 2024 for domestic consumers, a significant proportion of prospective travellers have to date ruled out this travel option as being too expensive.
  • But, if they could only take one holiday a year, a holiday abroad was the preference for the majority in both markets.

Value for Money

  • Overall, consumers in both markets continue to rate NI as a better value for money tourism destination than ROI and GB. Competition from abroad remains strong, however.
  • Significant declines are evident for ROI residents' perception of value for money of a domestic break, offering potential opportunities for NI.

Cost of living impact

  • Impacts of the rising cost of living continue to affect the vast majority of consumers in both markets.
  • In the immediate autumn/winter months ahead there are some signs of a potential slowdown in both domestic and ROI consumer leisure spend, with over half intending to spend less eating out, going to pubs/bars, visiting paid attractions/activities and going to events/festivals/concerts.
  • When considering day trips, around half said they would look for more free things to do.
  • Spending less while on holiday is one of the most popular ways consumers anticipate they will save money.


  • Findings suggest that if the economic climate continues to suppress consumers’ spending, the majority of consumers are likely to prioritise a holiday abroad over a staycation. However, if extreme weather temperatures in Europe and further afield continue, consumers feel they may end up replacing a holiday abroad with a closer destination.


Consumer Sentiment 2023

Consumer Sentiment 2022

Consumer Sentiment 2021


Consumer Sentiment 2020