The Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA ) has welcomed the growing number of Irish residents heading overseas on holiday, as unveiled last week in the CSO Household Travel Survey. The results of the survey show that 1.5 million outbound trips were undertaken by Irish residents in Q1 2016, an increase of 12.8 per cent over the same period last year.
Almost half (47.7 per cent ) of all outbound trips by Irish residents in the first three months of the year were classified as holidays, while almost a quarter (24.8 per cent ) were for the purpose of visiting friends or relatives. The results of the survey also show that Irish residents spent €1.2 billion on outbound trips, of which almost €631 million was spent on holidays, €289.5 million on business trips, and €169 million on visiting friends and relatives.
President of the ITAA, Cormac Meehan, commented: “It is fantastic to see Irish holidaymakers spending over €600 million on overseas holidays in the first quarter of 2016. We knew the travel trade was continuing to prosper but it is reassuring to see the CSO figures correlate with our own figures. The ITAA’s recent Quarterly Survey showed that 50 per cent of Irish travel agents have seen an increase in bookings compared to the same period in 2015.”
The results of the survey also showed that the UK and Spain were the two most popular destinations in terms of trip numbers at 607,000 and 233,000 respectively.
Meehan continued, “Aside from once again showing Ireland’s close relationship to the UK, these results also show Spain’s popularity as an overseas holiday destination for Irish travellers. Spain remains a top choice for Irish people due to its excellent tourist facilities, year-round sunshine, and fantastic cultural attractions. This year it also offers a safe and secure destination following months of unrest throughout Europe and beyond.”
The ITAA represents Ireland’s travel industry, bringing together 100 travel agent members and 70 affiliate partners.