Official figures show that the the number of trips made to Ireland by overseas visitors in October was 16.7% lower than in the same month a year earlier.

The CSO says the figure of 551,300 for October is now almost back to the levels of the same month five years ago after a period of strong growth.

A breakdown showed that trips from Britain were down 14.6% in the year to October, while those from the rest of Europe were 23% lower. North American trips were down 6.9%.

For the first 10 months of the year, trips to Ireland are down 11.7% from the same month last year.

Meanwhile, Irish people made 591,400 trips abroad in October, down 7.5% from the same month last year. These figure are now back to the levels of October 2006, according to the CSO.

Yesterday, CSO figure showed that, for the first time since 1991, the number of trips abroad by Irish residents fell in the key summer months this year. The figures showed that the number of visits abroad by Irish residents in the months from July to September fell by 12% to 2,137,000 compared to the same time last year.