Dáil debates

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Ceisteanna - Questions

Overseas Visitors

11:00 am

Photo of Seymour CrawfordSeymour Crawford (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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Question 4: To ask the Taoiseach the number of tourists who have travelled to Ireland to date in 2010 and how this compares to the same period in 2008; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36639/10]

Photo of John CurranJohn Curran (Minister of State, Department of Defence; Minister of State and Government Chief Whip, Department of An Taoiseach; Dublin Mid West, Fianna Fail)
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Data on overseas visits to and from Ireland is published in the CSO's overseas travel release. The latest release showed that the total number of overseas visits to Ireland in the year to September 2010 was 4,622,800, compared to 6,174,000 in the same period in 2008, which represents an overall decrease of 25.1% in overseas visits to Ireland. These results are based on the CSO's country of residence survey, which is conducted at airports and seaports in the Republic of Ireland. The most recently published figures are for the third quarter of 2010. The next release of overseas travel figures is scheduled for February 2011 and will contain the annual figures and a quarterly breakdown for October, November and December.

Additional figures on the numbers of overseas visitors into Ireland during 2008, 2009 and 2010 are contained in the following tables which I propose to circulate in the Official Report.

Overseas Trips to Ireland by quarter 2007 -2010
Quarter 1Quarter 2Quarter 3Quarter 4
20071,478,3002,131,0002,646,4001,756,500
20081,542,2002,159,4002,472,4001,665,000
20091,402,2001,901,9002,177,3001,446,100
2010*1,084,8001,541,4001,996,600
Source: CSO Overseas Travel
*Extensive disruption occurred in April and early May due to closures of Irish airspace due to volcanic ash
Overseas Trips for Year to Date to Q3, 2007 - 2010
2007200820092010
Jan-Sept6,255,7006,174,0005,481,4004,622,800
Source: CSO Overseas Travel
Percentage change in overseas Trips for Year to Date to Q3, 2007 - 2010
% change2007-20082008-20092009-2010
Jan-Sept-1%-11%-16%
Source: CSO Overseas Travel

Photo of Seymour CrawfordSeymour Crawford (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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I asked the question following a representation by a group of holiday home operators, who are extremely worried about the fact that they have lost overnight stays in a dramatic way over the last couple of years. It is not due to the recession, but due to regulation in fisheries. Can the Government provide some indication on whether the travel tax will be abolished? This is an area in which there is tremendous opportunity and it is vital we do away with red tape and unnecessary charges.

Photo of John CurranJohn Curran (Minister of State, Department of Defence; Minister of State and Government Chief Whip, Department of An Taoiseach; Dublin Mid West, Fianna Fail)
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The nature of the question under my remit is in respect of the CSO in the preparation of the figures. The travel tax would be a budgetary matter relevant to the Minister for Finance.