Tourism Sector

Executive Summary Overview of the Tourism Sector

Regional and Local Overview

  • Galway accounted for 15.8% of total overseas visitors coming into Ireland in 2014.
  • Galway's inbound overseas visitors increased at a higher rate than Ireland at 10.3% between 2013 and 2014.
  • Galway experienced the third highest number of overseas visitors after Dublin and then Cork in 2012 and 2013, growing at a rate of 6.2%.
  • Mainland Europe accounts for a large proportion of overseas visitors into Galway, 30% of these visitors come from North America
  • In 2013, Galway attracted 199,000 British tourists, an increase of 11.8%.
  • Galway generated €253 million in revenue from overseas visitors in 2012 with 38% of Galway's total revenue being generated by North American visitors.
  • Galway attracts 10.4% of Ireland's total domestic visitors.
  • 739,000 Irish residents travelled to Galway in 2013.
  • Galway generated €148 million from domestic spending in 2013.
  • Galway is showing positive RevPAR growth with Galway's RevPAR up 6% to €45.02 with an occupancy percentage of 67.4% as of 2013
  • The reduced VAT rate has resulted in the creation an additional 1,203 new direct jobs in Galway within the tourism, food and hospitality sector.
  • Galway airport has recently reopened to commercial flights with the first commercial jet, under the new licence, arriving on the 13th January 2015 from Stuttgart in Germany.
  • Galway is famous for being the festival capital of Ireland, hosting 122 festivals and events for the year 2015
  • Some 25% or 87,962 passengers from Shannon airport visited Galway with 48% of visitors to Galway stayed in a hotel, 16% stayed in a B&B, 7% stayed in self-catering accommodation and 39% went to stay with friends or relatives.
  • There are 35 heritage sites, 31 museums and 10 art galleries in Galway City and County.
  • Some 167,464 overseas tourists visited Connemara National Park in 2012.
  • 689kms of Galway's coastline runs through the Wild Atlantic Way
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