Northern Ireland Tourist Board

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NI Annual and Quarterly Tourism Performance

St George's Market

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 industry sentiment.

The latest NI tourism performance data (Jan-March 2019) released by NISRA indicate:

Tourism Stats Jan - Mar 2019

More than 1m overnight trips (domestic and external) were taken in Northern Ireland (NI)  during Jan-March 2019.  This is a record breaking number of trips for Q1, up by 7% on Jan-March 2018, with increases evident for all main markets. 

Nights increased marginally (+1%), with declines in NI and Republic of Ireland (ROI) nights offset by growth from Great Britain (GB) and Other Overseas.

Visitors spent £180m (-3% on Q1 2018), with spend reducing for all markets except the domestic market.  Some £2m was spent on average each day during Q1 2019.

Holiday trips increased by almost one quarter compared with Jan-March 2018, with all main markets delivering growth.  Business trips declined, largely due to a fall in domestic business trips.

NI attracted a previously unsurpassed 550,000  visitors from outside NI (+14%).  Growth was evident for both the ROI (+34%) and GB and Other Overseas (+8%) markets.

Supporting the increase in trips indicated for Jan-March 2019, hotels, guesthouses, B&Bs and guest accommodation saw an 8% increase in bed-spaces sold.  The most recent NI accommodation statistics (Jan-July 2019) show unprecedented sales for this period, with over 2.7 million bed-spaces sold in hotels, guesthouses, B&Bs and guest accommodation, an increase of 7% on Jan-July 2018.


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.