DUBLIN, March 28 (Xinhua) -- Ireland has recorded a rapid recovery in the number of overseas passengers in February, following the country's lifting of COVID-19 travel restrictions.
A total of 787,300 overseas passengers arrived in Ireland in February, up over 34 percent and 1,300 percent respectively when compared with January 2022 and February 2021, said the country's Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Monday.
Nevertheless, the February 2022 figure is still 35.2 percent lower than that recorded in the pre-pandemic February 2020 when more than 1.21 million overseas passengers arrived in Ireland, it said.
In January 2022, there were 584,100 overseas passenger arrivals in Ireland while in February 2021 there were only 54,800 overseas passenger arrivals in the country, said the CSO.
Ireland reported its first COVID-19 case at the end of February 2020 and its tourism sector started to feel the bite of the pandemic as more and more travel restrictions were imposed across the world, resulting in a sharp drop in the number of overseas visitors to the country.
Tourism is a pillar industry of Ireland. In 2019, nearly 9.7 million people visited Ireland from overseas, bringing in over 5.1 billion euros (5.6 billion U.S. dollars) for its hospitality sector, according to Tourism Ireland.
Earlier this month, the Irish government removed all the COVID-19 restrictions regarding travel to Ireland. ■