With the start of the new year, a new poll has revealed which people will be the biggest beneficiaries of a boom in tourism.
The latest poll from Tourism Ireland (TI) shows that while the number of tourists to Ireland has continued to grow, the average earnings for Irish people in the tourism industry has fallen by 2 per cent in 2018.
The decline in earnings for the industry is a result of a number of factors including lower tourism demand and reduced tourist arrivals, according to the report.
The report said the number and quality of tourist attractions across Ireland has remained stable, with the biggest declines in areas of the country such as Galway and Kerry.
It also said there were some positives for tourism, such as the number that were visiting for holiday, but said there was also a risk of oversupply and a decline in tourism spending in areas where there is limited capacity.
This is because the demand for accommodation and accommodation services in Ireland is expected to remain relatively constant at around 7 million in 2021.
The survey also revealed that while there has been a marked increase in the number seeking accommodation, the number is still relatively low compared to other EU member states.
According to TI, there were 1.25 million visitors in 2021, but only 833,000 hotel rooms were rented out for the year.
In contrast, there was 1.48 million people visiting for vacation in 2021 compared to 759,000 for the previous year.
The new report also found that while Irish households were still enjoying their highest holiday earnings in terms of annual income, there has also been a significant increase in disposable income.
The average disposable income for households in Ireland in 2020 was €7,926, but it has increased to €9,061 in 2021 and to €12,064 in 2022.
While households were earning more, the rate of disposable income growth is lower in terms the amount of income they receive.
This suggests that the majority of households have seen their income fall over the past year.
According the report, the decline in disposable earnings is due to the fall in the cost of living, which has been driven by a reduction in the impact of inflation.
The amount of disposable incomes fell from €7.3 billion in 2020 to €5.3billion in 2021 as a result, according the report which also said that disposable incomes are likely to remain at this level for the foreseeable future.
The data from TI was released at a time when Ireland is currently struggling with an unemployment rate of 8.3 per cent.
With the recession that began in December 2019, unemployment has been at around 11 per cent for the last three months of 2021, according TI.
The Irish government has been working hard to try and revive the tourism sector, which was hit particularly hard by the financial crisis.
But with the current downturn in the economy, there is little incentive for the tourism companies to invest in the country.
The unemployment rate for those in tourism is estimated to be 8.9 per cent, with around half of the people in tourism saying that they would like to stay in the business.
A report by the International Tourism Federation (ITF) this week warned that the economic downturn could be another drag on tourism spending.
The ITF report, published earlier this month, said that while tourism spending has risen in recent years, the economic environment has not been supportive.
It pointed out that in the last five years, tourism revenues have decreased by 4 per cent while income from other sources has increased by almost 13 per cent – with the exception of Ireland.
The increase in Ireland’s tourism revenue is largely due to a drop in the level of foreign visitors to the country, it added.
The main drivers of the tourism growth, it said, are the increased availability of tourist destinations such as Ireland, the increase in accommodation services and the increasing number of holidaymakers.
It said that, over the next five years – from 2021 to 2023 – the number who would like a holiday in Ireland would rise by a third, with more than one million people seeking a holiday.
The IWT also said the growth in the numbers of people visiting Ireland could be a result not only of the economic recovery, but also due to an increase in people wanting to spend time with family and friends.
It suggested that the increase is also being driven by the economic recession, with people wanting more time together.
This could also be the result of more people choosing to spend their holidays in Ireland as well as those who have been offered jobs in the tourist industry.
The economic downturn, it also noted, has been accompanied by a decrease in the average income of households.
The number of people in their early twenties seeking to leave the workforce is also expected to be lower, according TOI.
It warned that a lack of demand in the workforce, coupled with a drop-off in people looking for work, could result in a downward trend in earnings.
While the decline has been evident in terms in earnings, the report also pointed out an increase was also evident in the amount that people