News and Events

5 Jun 2014

Irish Ferry Passenger & Car numbers up during Q1, 2013

Irish Tourist Ferry Passenger & Car numbers report a significant rinse in volumes in the 1st quarter of 2013 when compared to the corresponding period in 2012 according to the latest figures released by the Irish Maritime Development Office.
Irish Ferry Passenger & Car numbers up during Q1, 2013

Ferry passenger numbers travelling to and from Ireland increased by 4% during the first quarter of 2013 when compared to the corresponding period last year, while tourist car numbers increased by 1%, according to the latest figures from the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO). 

This is the first quarterly increase since Q1 2011 for both tourist passengers and cars. Analysing these numbers on a country basis shows that for the Republic of Ireland, passenger numbers increased by 5% to 353,306 while car numbers increased by 1% to 99,277. For Northern Ireland, tourist numbers increased 4% to 260,144, while tourist car numbers increased by 2% to 80,029.

On the cross channel routes between the UK and the Island of Ireland, which accounts for 92% of total traffic, passenger numbers grew by 5%.  Continental passenger traffic between Ireland and France fell by 15% during the first quarter. Quarter 1 tends to be the quietest quarter for the continental sector, which normally sees its busiest periods in Quarter 2 and Quarter 3. 

While these headline figures represent positive news for the sector, the impact of Easter falling in Q1 instead of Q2 is likely to have had an impact on the passenger volumes. Initial data shows that passenger and tourist car numbers correspondingly declined in April due to the above factor, with overall numbers expected to be down for the first four months compared to same period last year.

Notes to editors

Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) The Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) is the agency that promotes and assists the development of Irish shipping and Irish shipping services. The IMDO advises the Minister of Transport on the development and co-ordination of policy in the shipping and shipping services sector so as to protect and create employment. The IMDO releases statistical analysis of the Irish maritime freight and is also responsible for the promotion of the Irish tonnage tax regime.

The IMDO operates under the auspices of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and is part of the Marine Institute which is the national agency responsible for Marine Research, Technology Development and Innovation. More information is available on

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