Irish tourism records strong recovery with occupancy rates up across all accommodation

Irish Tourism Records Strong Recovery With Occupancy Rates Up Across All Accommodation
Ireland has seen a resurgence in overseas visitors, particularly from North America. Photo: PA
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Seán McCárthaigh

Tourism in Ireland recorded a strong recovery last year with providers of all types of tourist accommodation reporting higher occupancy rates than in 2022, according to Fáilte Ireland.

A new report by the national tourism development authority found occupancy levels up in every sector largely due to a resurgence in overseas visitors, particularly from North America.


International tourists occupied the majority of bedspaces in guesthouses, B&Bs and hostels.

However, the split between foreign and domestic tourists is effectively 50/50 with providers of self-catering accommodation and caravan parks and campsites.

Research by Fáilte Ireland found guesthouses were one of the strongest performers in 2023 with room occupancy rates at 77 per cent – up nine percentage points on the previous year.

More than two-thirds of people staying in guesthouses were overseas tourists last year.


Dublin performed ahead of the other regions with an average occupancy rate of 83 per cent followed by 79 per cent in guesthouses in areas along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Occupancy rates in B&Bs, where foreign tourists account for three-quarters of all guests, were up ten percentage points to 64 per cent.

However, Fáilte Ireland pointed out that the situation is not all positive as many providers had remained closed during 2023.

The report revealed occupancy rates in self-catering accommodation was up four percentage points to 62 per cent.


However, it claimed there was less “headroom” for improvement in the sector as it had recovered faster than other providers of tourist accommodation after the Covid-19 pandemic.

All regions recorded increased occupancy rates in self-catering accommodation with the exception of Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands which covers the midlands region.

The report said occupancy rates in caravan parks and campsites which were up four percentage points to 60 per cent in 2023 could have been higher but for periods of persistent bad weather in late July and early August.

“Growth could have been higher with better summer weather,” it observed.

Occupancy rates in hostels were up six percentage points to 65 per cent nationally and reaching 70 per cent in Dublin.

Fáilte Ireland said figures showed that the sector, which was worst hit by the pandemic, was boosted by a growing number of both international and domestic tourists.

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