OVERSEAS TRAVEL TO and from Ireland increased dramatically in July but remained heavily depressed compared to pre-pandemic levels, according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
A total of 380,700 passengers arrived in Ireland by air and sea in July after the roll-out of the EU Digital Covid Cert for travel, a 138% increase from the previous month.
Meanwhile, 428,600 passengers departed from Ireland last month, a 115% increase from June.
Ireland implemented the digital cert on 19 July when the government lifted restrictions on non-essential overseas travel.
Overall last month, travel was up sharply from July 2020 when just 227,300 passengers arrived and 275,400 passengers departed, according to the CSO.
Great Britain remained the most important routing country for travel to and from Ireland, followed by Spain (42,300 arrivals, 66,400 departures), Poland (26,000 arrivals, 36,500 departures) and France (23,100 arrivals, 27,400 departures).
But the number of people arriving in and departing from the Republic on planes and ferries was still down considerably from pre-Covid figures.
Overseas arrivals had declined by nearly 83% in July compared to the same month in 2019 while departures had collapsed by just over 80%.
In pre-pandemic July 2019, there were 2,225,900 arrivals and 2,183,900 departures.
It means that for every one passenger who arrived in or departed from Ireland in July, there were five before the Covid-19 pandemic.
Of the 380,700 persons arriving in Ireland in July 2021, 85.8% (326,600) arrived by air and 14.2% (54,100) arrived by sea, according to the CSO release.
Commenting on the figures, Gregg Patrick, CSO Statistician, said, “The July 2021 statistics show that continental routes contributed most to the passenger traffic.
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“Some 217,700 passengers arrived on continental routes and 287,300 passengers departed on continental routes.
“By way of contrast, 123,100 passengers arrived on cross-channel routes and 110,800 passengers departed on cross-channel routes. Just 26,700 passengers arrived on transatlantic routes and 18,300 passengers departed on these routes.”
He added, “When we look at the year-to-date picture (January-July 2021), the statistics show that 919,800 overseas passengers arrived in Ireland and 1,036,100 overseas passengers departed from Ireland.
“This compares to both 3.4 million arrivals and departures in the same period in 2020 and 11.6 million arrivals and 11.7 million departures in the same period in 2019.”
This, he said, “illustrates the ongoing dramatic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on international travel to and from Ireland”.