Irish people took almost 2m domestic holiday breaks in the first quarter of the year — up almost 20% on the same period in 2015.
According to the latest household travel survey from the CSO), holidays accounted for 46.3% of all domestic journeys while 36.4% were to visit friends or relatives.
Visitors who stayed in hotel accommodation accounted for 937,000 overnights in quarter 1 2016, while those staying with family and friends accounted for 739,000. Total expenditure on domestic trips in the first quarter of the year amounted to €326.9m.
However, data from the household travel survey showed a higher number of older people were completing the questionnaire while younger age categories were under-represented.
Overall, 1.5m overseas trips were undertaken by Irish residents in the first three months of 2016, an increase of 12.8% over the same period last year.
They used up just under 11m bed nights in this period, with the average length of stay on outbound trips being just over a week.
Britain and Spain were the two most popular destinations with numbers at 607,000 and 233,000, respectively. Almost half (47.7%) of all outbound trips were holidays while a quarter (24.8 %) were for the purpose of visiting friends or relatives.
Irish people spent €1.2bn on trips abroad of which almost €631m was spent on holidays, €289.5m on business trips, and €169m visiting friends and relatives.
Commenting on the figures, Fáilte Ireland CEO Shaun Quinn said the home holiday market was essential to sustain Irish tourism all year around.
“Fáilte Ireland is running a strong home holiday campaign in 2016 and we have also funded a large programme of festivals to generate both overseas and domestic visitor activity. I am confident that the domestic market will continue to play its part throughout the rest of 2016 to sustain tourism growth and support businesses and employment,” he said.
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