The south-west of Ireland remains the most popular destination for domestic holidaymakers, but its dominance has been decreasing amid growing competition from the south-east.
New research carried out by Fáilte Ireland shows that 22% of all domestic holidays were spent in Cork and Kerry last year.
However, those counties’ share of the domestic holiday market has fallen from 24% in 2013.
The south-east, which covers Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford, Waterford, and south Tipperary, has shown the biggest growth of any region in recent years and has overtaken the West as the second most popular destination, accounting for 20% of all domestic holidays last year, up from 16% in 2014.
Dublin’s share of the domestic holiday market also declined last year, falling to 12% from 14% in 2014.
The Fáilte Ireland study showed that the south-west still accounts for 26% of all overnight accommodation stays, which is unchanged since 2014.
A total of 9.1 million trips were taken by Irish residents here last year, with an associated expenditure of €1.73bn, an increase of 1% in both trips and expenditure on 2014 levels.
The research also highlights a noticeable decline in the number of long holidays taken by Irish people in Ireland last year — down 66,000 to just under 1.15 million.
It represented an annual decrease of 6%, though revenue from such holidays still rose by 2% to €394.2m.
However, the decline in the number of longer holidays was offset by an increase in the number of short-breaks taken by domestic holidaymakers which were up 5% to 4,658,000.
There was a 10% decrease in the number of business trips within Ireland last year, falling by 46,000 to 407,000. There was a related fall-off in expenditure, which was down 11% to €98m.
According to Fáilte Ireland, 58% of the population took at least one holiday in Ireland last year, the same level as in 2014.
Research shows that 18% took a domestic holiday lasting four or more nights in 2015, down one percentage point on the previous year.
More than half of all domestic holidays are booked fewer than four weeks in advance, though 10% are taken without any booking.
For the first time ever last year, more than half of all Irish holidaymakers used the internet to book their holiday.
The popularity of hotels as the preferred type of accommodation by domestic holidaymakers continued to rise, accounting for 35% of all overnight stays.
There was a sharp drop in numbers staying in caravan parks or camping sites, falling from 14% of all domestic holiday bednights in 2014 to 7% last year.
Conversely, there was a large increase in numbers staying in holiday homes, rising to to 19% in 2015 from 12% the previous year.
In terms of value for money, almost three-quarters of domestic tourists reported being either “very” or “fairly satisfied”.
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