Northern Ireland local government district tourism statistics 2018

Date published: 25 July 2019

The report provides a variety of estimates including; overnight trips and the associated number of nights and expenditure, rooms sold in commercial accommodation, visitor attraction visits, tourism employment and cruise ship visits.

The key points are:

  • The largest number of estimated overnight trips in 2018 was to Belfast LGD (1.7 million). A third of overnight trips to Northern Ireland were to Belfast LGD (33% of all overnight trips).  Causeway Coast and Glens had the second largest number of estimated overnight trips (1.0 million);
  • Belfast and Antrim & Newtownabbey LGDs attracted the highest relative proportion of business trips; accounting for approximately 15% of all overnight trips in each of the LGDs;
  • An estimated 1.1 million hotel rooms were sold in Belfast LGD in 2018, the highest of any area.  Derry and Strabane LGD was the second highest with an estimated 177 thousand hotel rooms sold;

Taken together with other data sources and over a longer time period, statistical estimates point towards an upward trend in tourism activity in Northern Ireland between 2013 and 2018. This may not be the case for each Local Government District, and all available sources should be taken together to provide a fuller picture and indication of tourism activity at LGD level.  

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