Irish residents took 10% more trips abroad on the year in May with 665,500 people heading overseas.

There were 714,600 overseas visitors coming into Ireland, which was 0.5% more than in May 2006, with visitors from Europe up substantially so far this year.

There were 1.4%, or 5,200, more trips into Ireland from residents of Great Britain in the month, and for the year so far there have been nearly 1.5 million visitors from the UK.

In May there were 365,700 overseas trips into Ireland from the UK and there were 221,000 visitors from other areas in Europe - a decline of 1.4%.

In May 100,600 visitors came from North America - a fall of 0.1%, while 27,200 came from other areas, which was a rise of 7.9%.

For the year so far there have been 327,300 visitors from North America, and 919,300 visitors into Ireland from residents living in other parts of Europe.

For the year to date visitors from the UK are down 3.8%, visitors from other European countries are up 17%, North America visitors are up 2.3% and visitors from other areas are up 10.7%.

In May 10,800 people visited Ireland from Australia, 44,700 came from Germany and 3,300 from Africa, including SA.

The survey is conducted at all the main airports and ports and the sample size in May was just under 55,000 passengers.