Industries News.Net

Tourism recovering in Ireland as occupancy rises across every sector

Robert Besser
18 May 2024

DUBLIN, Ireland: Tourism in Ireland showcased a strong recovery last year, with all types of tourist accommodation experiencing higher occupancy rates compared to 2022, according to Failte Ireland.

A recent report by the National Tourism Development Authority highlighted that occupancy levels increased across every sector, primarily driven by a surge in visitors from North America. International tourists mainly occupied bed spaces in guesthouses, B&Bs, and hostels.

However, the distribution between foreign and domestic tourists was nearly even, with providers of self-catering accommodation, caravan parks, and campsites seeing a 50/50 split. Failte Ireland's research indicated that guesthouses were among the strongest performers in 2023, with room occupancy rates reaching 77 percent, a nine percentage point increase from the previous year. More than two-thirds of guesthouse patrons were overseas tourists.

Dublin led regional performance with an average occupancy rate of 83 percent, followed by guesthouses along the Wild Atlantic Way at 79 percent. B&Bs also saw significant gains, with occupancy rates jumping ten percentage points to 64 percent, where foreign tourists constituted three-quarters of all guests.

Despite the positive trends, Failte Ireland noted that not all developments were favorable, as many providers remained closed throughout 2023.

Occupancy rates in self-catering accommodations rose by four percentage points to 62 percent. However, the sector saw less potential for further improvement as it had recovered more rapidly post-COVID-19 than other accommodations.

All regions, except for Ireland's Hidden Heartlands, recorded increased occupancy rates in self-catering accommodations. The report also mentioned that occupancy rates in caravan parks and campsites, which increased by four percentage points to 60 percent in 2023, could have been higher if not for periods of bad weather in late July and early August.

"Growth could have been higher with better summer weather," it observed.

Hostels nationwide saw a six percentage point rise to 65 percent occupancy, with rates reaching 70 percent in Dublin. Failte Ireland highlighted that this sector, severely impacted by the pandemic, benefited from the growing influx of international and domestic tourists.

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