New air and sea travel statistics for February from the Central Statistics Office show a substantial fall in overseas travel compared to last year due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.

The CSO said that a total of 54,800 overseas passengers arrived in Ireland in February, while 53,200 overseas passengers left the country. 

This compares to 1,215,100 arrivals and 1,203,300 departures in February of last year - slumps of 95.5% and 95.6% respectively.

The February arrival and departure figures were also 49.2% and 55.2% lower compared to January. 

Today's figures show that continental routes contributed most to the passenger traffic with 31,600 passengers arriving on continental routes and 27,800 passengers departing on these routes. 

By way of contrast, 13,200 passengers arrived on cross-channel routes and 17,200 passengers departed on cross-channel routes, the CSO said. 

Just 2,100 passengers arrived on transatlantic routes and 2,200 passengers departed on these routes.

Apart from the UK, which effectively accounted for all cross-channel routes, the most important countries for overseas travel in February were Spain, the Netherlands and France. 

So far this year, the CSO said that 162,800 overseas passengers arrived in Ireland and 171,900 overseas passengers departed from Ireland. 

This compares to almost 2.5 million arrivals and departures the same time in 2020 - falls of 93% - which the CSO said illustrated the ongoing dramatic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on international travel to and from Ireland.