Of the 1,309,500 passengers arriving in Ireland in December 2022, in all 94.5% (1,237,000) arrived by air, and 5.5% (72,500) by sea, CSO data shows.
This compares with 692,900 arrivals in December 2021, an increase of 89%.
This percentage share of air and sea travel is comparable with pre-pandemic December 2019 (when 94% of passengers arrived by air and 6% by sea).
More arrivals came via Great Britain (550,600) than from any other country in December 2022.
Statistician Gregg Patrick said that the numbers represented a substantial increase on December 2021, when 692,900 passengers arrived via overseas’ routes.
“The increase is even more substantial when compared with December 2020 when just 164,400 passengers arrived on these routes. However, passenger arrivals remain lower (4.6%) than pre-pandemic December 2019, when 1,372,600 passengers arrived on overseas routes,” he said.
The recovery in air travel is most pronounced, increasing by 92.8% in December 2022 compared with December 2021, he added.
The recovery is also spread across all major routes, with transatlantic traffic up most. In relative terms, there were more than two passengers arriving on transatlantic routes in December 2022 for every one passenger in December 2021.
Among the continental routes, Spanish routes remain the busiest, with 117,800 passengers arriving – up 69.7% compared with December 2021.
However, in overall terms, Great Britain remained the most important departure country for overseas travel to Ireland, with 550,600 passengers arriving via air and sea routes from Great Britain, compared with just 285,400 in December 2021.
In the year 2022, a total of 17,257,000 passengers arrived in Ireland from overseas. This represents a substantial increase compared with 2021 when only 4,955,900 passengers arrived in Ireland.
However, passenger arrivals in 2022 remain significantly lower (-14.3%) than pre-pandemic 2019, when 20,143,700 passengers arrived on overseas’ routes.