Northern Ireland Tourist Board

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St Patrick's Trail at Slemish

St Patrick's Trail at Slemish

Summary reports published by Tourism NI

Annual and Quarterly Tourism Performance Statistics are published by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) and the Central Statistics Office (CSO). Tourism Northern Ireland produces reports to provide an overview of these and other statistics, together with competitor performance and industry sentiment.

Continued Strong ROI Performance

The strong performance delivered by the ROI market in 2017 has continued into the first quarter of 2018.  Figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) suggest ROI visitors stayed longer and spent more  in NI than they did during Jan-March 2017.  NI realised  significant growth of 29% in  ROI holiday trips during the first quarter of 2018 (following on from 40% growth during Jan-March 2017.  The holiday growth was possibly helped by the fact that most of the Easter weekend fell during Q1 in 2018, but occurred during the second quarter of 2017.  Overall trips were down slightly, largely due to declines in those visiting friends/relatives.  These visitors may have deferred a trip to see their NI friends/relatives because of the poor weather conditions experienced during Jan-March 2018.  This largely positive Jan-March 2018 performance follows on from a very strong first quarter in 2017, which delivered double digit growth for many key performance metrics.


NI welcomed unprecedented visitor spend and record holiday numbers in 2017

The latest tourism data released by NISRA indicate another strong year for Northern Ireland (NI) tourism.  Figures estimate NI welcomed 4.9m visitors during Jan-Dec 2017, who stayed longer compared with the same period in 2016, and spent an unprecedented £926m  (£76m more compared with 2016).  With the exception of GB, which delivered a nominal increase in visitors,  growth was apparent for each of our main market areas (in particular the domestic market).  NI attracted a previously unsurpassed 2.7 million visitors from outside of NI.

The additional £76m spend compared with Jan-Dec 2016 is due largely to significant increases in ROI, NI and Other Overseas spend. Some  £2.5m was spent on average each day  during Jan-Dec 2017 by those taking overnight trips in NI.

A record breaking 2.5 million holiday trips were taken in NI during Jan-Dec 2017, with the growth in holidays largely attributable to the closer to home markets (NI and ROI).

Overall, industry feedback suggests that 2018 has started well, with sentiment generally positive for continued growth in business this year.