Northern Ireland Annual Tourism Statistics 2016

Date published: 30 May 2017


Due to the complexity of tourism, no single statistic can provide a definitive measure on how the tourism industry is performing. This report provides a picture of Northern Ireland tourism in 2016. A variety of statistics are presented, such as estimates of the number of people staying overnight in Northern Ireland, rooms sold in local accommodation, cruise ship visits and visits to Visitor Attractions. The report points towards growth in tourism from visitors outside of the island of Ireland, alongside a fall in domestic overnight trips.

Key Points

  • In 2016 there were an estimated 4.6 million overnight trips in Northern Ireland. This includes external trips of visitors to Northern Ireland and domestic trips taken by local residents. Estimated expenditure associated with these trips was £851m.
  • Overnight trips to Northern Ireland by external visitors was estimated to be 2.6 million. Expenditure associated with these trips was £614m.
  • An estimated 2.0 million hotel room nights were sold in Northern Ireland - hotel room occupancy was estimated to be 70%.
  • In 2016, a total of 93 cruise ships docked at Northern Ireland ports.
  • Taken together with other data sources the statistics point towards an upward trend in external tourism activity in Northern Ireland between 2011 and 2016. However users should be aware that the three headline measures above show no statistically significant change between 2015 and 2016.
  • Full report available here.

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