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The tourist economy in Northern Ireland


In 2019, tourism in Northern Ireland attracted 5.3 million visitors who spent £1 billion.

In the past number of years the Northern Ireland tourism industry has benefited from significant major events such as The Open at Royal Portrush in 2019.

Future opportunities will arise with the growing demand in screen tourism following the worldwide success of programmes like Game of Thrones and films such as Belfast.

Northern Ireland has also benefited from other significant tourism developments including the opening of new attractions such as the Game of Thrones studio tour.

Key statistics

Tourism statistics released by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) for 2019 show:

  • Overnight trips to Northern Ireland by external visitors was estimated to be 3 million.
  • The growth in trips was largely driven by holidays, as there were 322,000 more holiday visitors compared with 2018. The closer to home  markets (NI and ROI) increased by 17 per cent, while holiday visitors from GB and Other Overseas grew by 7 per cent.
  • Domestic performance was strong, with NI residents taking more trips, notably holidays, in NI and spending more.
  • Tourism NI Industry Development
    028 9044 1673
  • Invest NI Helpline
    0800 181 4422
Developed with:
  • Tourism NI