Tourism data is derived from a variety of sources. The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant effect on these sources. The COVID-19 and the production of statistics page details the effect on NISRA statistics overall and the Impact of COVID-19 on Northern Ireland tourism statistics addresses specific issues with sources normally used in tourism publications. NISRA will continue to publish as much data as possible and will explore other indicators if the original source is affected. However, due to the quality and quantity of some data NISRA has suspended National Statistics status for tourism data until further notice. In absence of our regular publication we will produce an alternative source publication containing a wide range of tourism related statistics produced by both NISRA and other sources at Northern Ireland alternative source statistics up to 7 October 2021
Latest figures for external overnight trips to Northern Ireland
In May 2017 after assessment by the Office for Statistics Regulation this publication was awarded National Statistics accreditation. National Statistics status means that official statistics meet the highest standards of trustworthiness, quality and public value.
All official statistics should comply with all aspects of the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. They are awarded National Statistics status following an assessment by the Office for Statistics Regulation. The Office for Statistics Regulation considers whether the statistics meet the highest standards of Code compliance, including the value they add to public decisions and debate.
The most recent annual 2019 publications are available below. The publications were released on 22 October 2020 and include additional tables and infographics.
While this publication provides information on tourists from outside of NI, NISRA does not have direct responsibility for the collection of all such information, some of which is provided from organisations in the RoI.
The value and volume of overseas visitors to Northern Ireland (NI) who exited through a NI port is measured using the NI Passenger Survey (NIPS).
From 2010, the administration of the survey has been carried out by the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency, Central Survey Unit.
Detailed methodology can be found at the link below:
Information on GB and all other overseas visitors arriving via RoI ports and terminals is provided by Failte Ireland. Information on RoI visitors is provided by Central Statistics Office in the RoI.
These three sources are combined to estimate the number of external overnight trips to NI.
Further information on the Survey of Overseas Travellers methodology is available from Failte Ireland below:
Further information on the Household Travel Survey methodology and content is available from the CSO below:
- Tourism statistics publication schedule
- Tourism statistics early indicators
- Tourism statistics archive publications
More information on data quality can be found at
More information on the quality of administrative sources can be found at
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