DUBLIN, May 27 (Xinhua) -- The number of overseas visitors to Ireland in April went down by 99.1 percent to a meagre 16,100 compared with more than 1.71 million in the same month of last year, said the country's Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Wednesday.
April 2020 also saw an unprecedented collapse in overseas travel from Ireland as the impact of the COVID-19 crisis deepened, said the CSO in a statement, adding that only 17,800 Irish residents travelled overseas during the month, down 99 percent compared with a year ago.
During the first four months of this year, the number of overseas visitors to Ireland stood at about 3.1 million, down 44.4 percent year-on-year, showed the CSO figures.
The number of overseas visitors to Ireland witnessed a free fall after the country reported its first confirmed case of COVID-19 at the very end of February.
In January and February, the numbers of overseas visitors to Ireland had managed to grow by 1.8 percent and 2.3 percent respectively, but by March, the monthly figure plunged 56.7 percent when compared with the same month of last year, according to the CSO data.
The number of overseas visitors to Ireland further shrank sharply in April after the Irish government announced a nationwide lockdown towards the end of March to combat the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
The lockdown measures had remained in place throughout the entire month of April and was not eased until mid-May.
Earlier this month, Irish Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Brendan Griffin said that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the Irish tourism sector.
He warned that the country's tourism trade could drop more than 50 percent this year if the problem is not addressed immediately and forcefully.
CSO figures showed that 10.8 million overseas tourists visited Ireland in 2019.
(Photo credit: Road Unraveled).