Tourism Ireland chief predicts recovery for sector in 2023

Positive outlook despite ‘strong headwinds’ such as economy and Ukraine war

The chief executive of Tourism Ireland is predicting a recovery for the sector in 2023 despite “strong headwinds” such as the economy and the war in Ukraine.

Niall Gibbons said growth in tourism in 2022 had been 10 per cent better than anticipated.

Speaking from London where he was attending the World Travel Market, Mr Gibbons said he expected the sector to be “back with a bang” in 2023

He said he had been anticipating that tourism in 2022 would be 65 per cent of 2019 levels, but it now looked like it would be 75 per cent.


While “strong headwinds” were likely – such as the economy, currency issues and the war in Ukraine, Mr Gibbons said such challenges were not unique to Ireland and would be having an impact on other countries too.

Ireland was “hassle-free” for UK visitors, despite Brexit, it remained easy to get to with lots of seats on flights and space on ferries, he told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland

Mr Gibbons said there remained a need to rebuild the sector especially during the “shoulder season” and competitiveness would be part of that.

Demand was already strong for the first quarter of 2023 with US interest being the strongest. UK interest was less than he would like, but the prospects for 2023 were looking good.

Vivienne Clarke

Vivienne Clarke is a media monitor and reporter