Growing number of Irish opting for staycations but Spain tops the list - survey

Alicante rooftops, Spain.

Spain remains the most popular summer holiday destination for Irish holiday-goers according to a recent AA Travel Insurance survey.

The survey also found a growing percentage of Irish people are choosing to spend their main holiday in the Republic of Ireland.

According to the AA Travel Insurance survey of over 3,000 Irish people, 18.96% of respondents plan on spending their main holiday this year in Spain, making it the most popular destination for the fourth year in a row.

However, this figure represents a slight decrease from 2018, where over 1 in 5 people (20.42%) planned on spending their main holiday in Spain.

One of the reasons for this slight drop is an increase in the number of people opting to holiday in Ireland. Last year, the AA found that just over 15% of Irish people intended on spending their main holiday in Ireland.

The figure has increased to 17.38% this year.

Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs, said: “When choosing our holiday destinations, sun and warmer climates have always been near the top of Irish people’s wish-lists so it’s unsurprising that Spain remains as popular as ever.

"What may come as a slight surprise, however, is the increase in people opting to stay in Ireland for their main holiday with this option now almost as popular as many people’s number one choice of a trip to Spain,”

Stay at home or at a hotel in Ireland can be a great way to cut down your holiday costs, and certainly something which our hospitality sector will welcome, but if you’re travelling further afield it’s important that you don’t cut out the essentials such as travel insurance just to try to keep costs down.

Among other European destinations proving popular with Irish tourists were France (7.06%), Portugal (6.41%), Italy (6.04%) and the United Kingdom (4%).

Despite the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the percentage of Irish people opting to holiday in the UK remained largely consistent with previous years, according to the AA’s findings.

A growing number of Irish are opting to stay holiday at home in Ireland.

For those travelling further afield, the USA remains the most popular destination outside of Europe, with 5.76% of respondents to the AA’s survey planning on spending their main holiday in the states.

Based on 3,217 responses to an AA Travel Insurance survey undertaken in January 2019:

  • Republic of Ireland 17.38%
  • Northern Ireland 0.46%
  • Great Britain 4.00%
  • Spain 18.96%
  • Portugal 6.41%
  • France 7.06%
  • Germany 0.93%
  • Italy 6.04%
  • Malta 0.65%
  • Greece 2.14%
  • Turkey 0.65%
  • Elsewhere in Central/Eastern Europe 5.48%
  • USA 5.76%
  • Canada 0.84%
  • Caribbean 0.56%
  • Central America 0.19%
  • South America 0.46%
  • Africa 0.84%
  • Middle East 0.28%
  • Asia 1.95%
  • Australia / New Zealand 1.58%
  • I'm not taking a holiday this year 5.95%
  • I'm not sure 11.43%

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