Northern Ireland Tourism Statistics
Thank you for your letter of 29 September 2020 regarding Northern Ireland tourism statistics. I welcome the publication of your 2019 Northern Ireland Annual Tourism National Statistics later this month, following the suspension of this output earlier in the year due to the data from the Household Travel Survey conducted by the Central Statistics Office in the Republic of Ireland being unavailable. I am pleased to hear that these data are now available and that you are sufficiently reassured that the quality meets the high standards required for National Statistics.
Given the ongoing disruption to the collection of tourism statistics in Northern Ireland caused by COVID-19, I support your decision to temporarily remove National Statistics designation from statistics published for Quarter 1 2020 onwards. Statistics on tourism in Northern Ireland are highly valued by users, so I am pleased that you will continue to publish statistics from other available data, such as passenger flow at airports and occupancy in hotels, as well as exploring other data sources which may provide further insights for users.
We will continue to engage with your statisticians, via our Travel, Transport and Tourism team, and look forward to considering the restoration of National Statistics status once data collection has resumed and you are assured the statistics can meet the standards expected by the Code of Practice for Statistics.
Director General for Regulation