It is estimated that €5.3 billion will have been spent by international visitors while visiting Ireland in 2023. This is according to the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation (ITIC) which has issued its 2023 Review.
The 2024 Outlook shows that Irish tourism remains robust despite domestic cost challenges and international geopolitical events.
Tourism is Ireland’s largest indigenous industry and biggest regional employer with an estimated 254,000 people working in the sector.
“The Irish tourism and hospitality industry has once again proved its resilience, it is vital to regional Ireland in particular providing livelihoods and economic activity where other sectors simply can’t reach,” said Elaina Fitzgerald Kane, Chair of ITIC.
Fitzgerald added that with the right market mix there can be further revenue growth in 2024, however, she highlighted that there could be an element of frustrated demand due to capacity and competitiveness concerns.
Tourism accounted for 4.4% share of Gross Value Added (GVA) in the Irish economy and generated approximately €2,000 per head of population.
According to Fáilte Ireland, for every euro spent by tourists 23c is generated in tax.
Tourism Accommodation Constraints
ITIC has highlighted tourism accommodation constraints as being a handbrake on growth with 20% of hotel and guesthouse beds contracted to Government for refugees and asylum seekers, and new short-term rental legislation likely to impact on self-catering properties.
The tourism body warned that Dublin Airport needs to be allowed grow beyond its current passenger cap.
Furthermore, ITIC said businesses are concerned with rising costs as a result of government legislation.
“The labour costs alone being imposed on businesses across the economy amount to about €4 billion annually, this poses a significant burden for SMEs with tight profit margins and some of these costs should be offset by government or else Irish competitiveness will be further eroded,” said Eoghan O’Mara Walsh, CEO of ITIC.