Regional Spread of Tourism 2018

Posted 25 Jul, 2019

NISRA have today published the 2018 Tourism Statistics by Local Government District.

(It should be noted that the spend is allocated on where a visitor spent the night)

For Northern Ireland as a whole, £968M was generated from overnight trips with approximately 70% generated from visitors outside on NI, making tourism an export led economic driver for NI.

Regionality is a key strand for Tourism Growth and allocation of spend and jobs across the council areas. In terms of expenditure from overnight trips Belfast and Causeway Coast & Glens between them represented 59% of total spend an increase of 3% on 2017. Belfast alone accounts for 41% of total NI spend and 30% of jobs.

Fermanagh & Omagh saw an estimated growth in overnight expenditure with an increase of 28% on 2017. Belfast had 20% growth with Mid & East Antrim growing at 19%.

As this is based on overnight stays, there is a potential correlation with the available accommodation stock within each council area. See picture below. Across NI an estimate of 2.2m hotel room nights were sold with 51% in Belfast.

The continued investment in hotel accommodation is to be welcomed and in the last 6 months to 30th June 2019, 4 new hotels with an additional 586 bed-spaces have come online outside of Belfast.

As the spend is allocated to where a visitor spends the night, day trips to attractions in other Council areas will not be reflected in those council areas. The Visitor Attraction report shows that the top Tourist attraction was Giant's Causeway followed by Titanic Belfast. See below for top ten attractions (these account for 24% of total visits to attractions with 5.1m visitors)

When it comes to employment, tourism and hospitality account for 9% of total jobs in NI. 30% of employee jobs were in Belfast.

Check out the report at…/local-government-district-touris…

Expenditure and Accommodation Stock by Council Area