Spending on foreign holidays fell by 28% to €814 million in the first three months of the year, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office.

Similarly, the amount spent on business travel declined by over 25% to €159.5m.

The number of trips abroad was down 11.3% to just under 1.6 million on the same period last year.

The only area of growth was in visits to friends and relatives. There were 5.6% more of these trips undertaken, which probably accounts for the increase in the numbers travelling to Britain (up 5.8%) and Australia, New Zealand and Oceania (+7.1%).

There was also a huge rise in journeys to Northern Ireland, with cross-border shopping the likely stimulant.

In terms of travel within the Republic, domestic trips fell 5% to 1.76 million in Q1%, with the total amount of money spent falling almost 10% to €256.3 million.