Good weather and reopening sees public splurge on hospitality

Spending was up 30% in hotels, 28% in pubs and 10% in restaurants in July
Good weather and reopening sees public splurge on hospitality

By Cate McCurry, PA

Spending in Ireland’s hospitality sector continued to grow last month as the public splashed out in pubs and restaurants, data shows.

Spending was up 30 per cent in hotels, 28 per cent in pubs and 10 per cent in restaurants, as the hospitality sector continued to reopen to include indoor dining for people who are fully vaccinated.

The busiest day for spending was July 30th, the Friday after indoor dining resumed, with consumers spending more than €8 million an hour in shops and businesses.

According to the AIB Spend Trend, consumers spent an average of €395,000 an hour in pubs and restaurants throughout July.

Spending on airline tickets was up 19 per cent as people started to travel internationally again.

Spending in the retail sector was down on the previous month with clothing stores down eight per cent, electronic stores down two per cent and homewares stores down nine per cent.

The border counties recorded the biggest increase in restaurant spending in July, with consumers in Donegal, Monaghan and Leitrim reporting a 15 per cent increase on June, while those from Cavan had a 14 per cent rise.

John Brennan, head of SME banking at AIB, said: “The good weather in July, combined with the reopening and increased rollout of the vaccine, has seen consumer spending in the hospitality sector continue to rise for another month, which is positive to see.

“Despite the return of international travel in July, consumers spent 30 per cent more on hotels than the previous month, indicating many are still opting to stay in Ireland for their holiday this year – a positive development for businesses right across the country.”

Drinkers celebrate in Slattery's Bar, Dublin
Drinkers celebrate in Slattery’s Bar, Dublin (Damien Eagers/PA)

Overall consumer spending continued to rise in July, up one per cent on June.

Card usage continued to rise with chip and pin up one per cent, contactless up two per cent and digital wallet payments up six per cent.

E-commerce spending was down almost one per cent on June as people spent more money in stores.

The quietest day for consumer spending in July was Sunday 18th.

On Monday 26th, when indoor hospitality reopened, consumers spent more than €6 million an hour throughout the day in shops and businesses.

Data was compiled from AIB debit and credit card spending from more than 56 million transactions between July 1st and 31st.

To account for the difference in the number of days in each month the AIB Spend Trend looks at average daily spending instead of monthly totals, providing an accurate reflection of consumer habits.

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