What’s more as we face into warmer climes in the months ahead, business levels through the Winter have been quite encouraging.
But at the end of this month it may be a case of ‘all-change’ for pubs all of whom rely to a greater or lesser extent on tourism from our nearest neighbour the UK.
With that in mind – and with the aid of the AIB – our Cover Story this month takes a closer look at the breakdown of tourism and indigenous spend in the pub in Ireland in 2018 with a view to unearthing which areas are most heavily reliant on UK tourism and therefore the most likely to be hit by any adverse consequences of Brexit.
As has been pointed out, eight in 10 tourists consider visiting an Irish pub an important part of their stay, with just under half of those stating that the warm welcoming atmosphere was the best part of the Irish pub experience.
Nine out of every 10 tourists make a point of visiting a pub when here and UK tourists comprise one out of every three tourists visiting our shores.
This is even more significant to the licensed trade because of all the nationalities visiting us, it’s the British tourist who understands the pub culture best and so represents a valuable guest to any Irish pub anywhere.
The fear is that with Brexit will come a downscaling of our British tourist influx. Post-Brexit, Sterling’s likely to be worth less against the €uro and so the cost of the pub visit to the UK visitor, combined with the cost of accommodation and food, may be enough to have them change their travel plans.
It’s clear that all pubs will be affected, not just those in UK tourist-heavier regions.
So now, more than ever, it’s important to make your overall pub experience overshadow any cost considerations.
What do you intend doing about that this year?