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 14) 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 next few months and into summer 2024. 

Fieldwork was undertaken in March 2024 with a robust, nationally representative sample from both markets. Results presented below are based on a sample of 750 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-March 2024 Visitor Volumes

  • Findings show a slight decrease in short breaks taken in NI during Jan-March 2024 for both markets, and for domestic NI Day trips, compared to when this research was conducted last year.
  • For those consumers in both markets who have taken a recent break in NI, the vast majority said their trip matched or exceeded expectations, with the range of places to eat & drink and the welcome & hospitality being particularly highly rated.

Travel Intentions

  • In relation to outlook for the next few months and also looking ahead to the summer months, a softening in demand for travel to/within NI from the NI and ROI markets is evident.
  • However, this reduced appetite for travel is present across the board, with short break intentions for ROI, GB and abroad also reducing for consumers in both markets.
  • To relax and unwind remains the top motivation for planned NI trips for both markets, with coastal and lakeside breaks looking increasingly popular as we head further into the spring and upcoming summer months.
  • Reduction in travel intentions is potentially linked to the impact of cost-of-living increases and a reduction in the pent-up demand that followed Covid.

Value for Money

  • Overall, consumers in both markets continue to rate NI as a better value for money tourism destination than ROI and GB. NI is widely perceived as offering good VFM across the tourism offer, particularly for meals/eating out, accommodation and shopping.
  • ROI residents’ adverse perception of VFM of a domestic break continues to offer potential opportunities for NI, particularly in the current economic climate.

Cost of living impact

  • Impacts of the rising cost of living continue to affect the vast majority of consumers in both markets.
  • Cost of living increases was rated as a top barrier for taking a trip to NI over the next six months by NI and ROI consumers, with around half in each market choosing this as a barrier. Personal finances was the second rated barrier for consumers in both markets.
  • When considering day trips, around half said they would look for more free things to do. There is also an increase in both markets in the number saying they will spend less on eating out.
  • Whilst a significant proportion of people in both markets are still saying they are going to continue to engage less with paid activities/attractions and eating out, this proportion has reduced since the last survey in September 2023.


  • Findings suggest that impacts on personal finances are continuing to have a significant material impact on holiday and short break planning, not only for trips on the island of Ireland, but also on trips abroad and in GB.
  • Currently, short break intentions appear to be down for NI trips when compared to this time last year, but with reduced numbers in both markets planning to take a trip abroad in the next six months, there may be more appetite for shorter trips closer to home later in the year.


Consumer Sentiment 2024


Consumer Sentiment 2023

Consumer Sentiment 2022

Consumer Sentiment 2021


Consumer Sentiment 2020