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7 November, 2022

Tourism Ireland mounts record presence at world’s largest travel fair

Recovery in overseas tourism continues, with 2022 expected to finish at 75% of 2019 business 

The recovery in overseas tourism continues, with 2022 expected to finish at around 75% of 2019 business – according to Tourism Ireland.  

International travel has rebounded more quickly than anticipated this year – with factors like pent-up demand for travel, deferred bookings and accumulated savings leading to a surge in travel to Ireland. Air and sea capacity has also been returning at a faster rate than expected, with air capacity for this winter at 102% of air capacity in winter 2019. 

As Tourism Ireland now prepares for 2023, the organisation is mounting its biggest-ever presence at World Travel Market (WTM) in London this week. Tourism Ireland is hosting over 100 tourism companies from Ireland on its stand. WTM marks the beginning of the promotional drive overseas for 2023 and is the largest B2B event in the global travel and tourism calendar. It presents a unique opportunity for the travel industry to meet, network, negotiate and conduct business for 2023. 

As we emerge from the pandemic, the tourism industry now faces other challenges – including labour shortfalls, currency fluctuations and the rising cost of doing business. Nonetheless, the latest round of Tourism Ireland research gives cause for optimism for overseas tourism next year. The research, carried out in 10 important tourism markets, shows that the desire to travel is stronger than ever. It also shows that seven out of ten people who want to travel in 2023 are still in the planning stages, meaning there is still a good opportunity to influence their choice of destination. 

Tourism Minister Catherine Martin said: “After an extremely challenging couple of years for the industry, international travel to Ireland has rebounded strongly in 2022 and I must commend Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland, Tourism Northern Ireland and all our tourism partners for their concerted efforts in this regard. World Travel Market marks the beginning of the promotional drive for 2023 and it provides an excellent platform to highlight Ireland’s world-class tourism experience to international tour operators. It’s great to see over one hundred tourism enterprises from all across the island, conducting business meetings and doing such a great job of selling Irish tourism to the global travel trade and supporting sustainable growth in the sector.” 

Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “In 2022, our priority was to restart overseas tourism to the island of Ireland, so it’s encouraging to see that the year is expected to finish at around 75% of 2019 business.  

“As we look now to 2023, our research confirms that the desire to travel is stronger than ever – so our presence at World Travel Market is more important than ever. The record number of tourism companies from Ireland attending this year is extremely welcome and essential in the highly competitive international marketplace. As we enter the REBUILD phase of our strategy for overseas tourism, our aim is to stand out from the crowd and to capture the attention of the global media and travel professionals at WTM.”  

Tourism Ireland has been undertaking its most extensive programme of promotions ever this year to RESTART overseas tourism to Ireland, following an extremely challenging two years for the tourism industry. The organisation has a three-phase plan to RESTART, REBUILD and ultimately REDESIGN demand.  

Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland; Tourism Minister Catherine Martin; and Judith Cassidy, Tourism Ireland’s Acting Head of Great Britain, at World Travel Market in London.

Notes to Editors:

  • Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination. 
  • In 2019, we welcomed 11.3 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of over €5.9 billion. 
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 33 market sites available in 30 different countries in 11 language versions around the world.