Good Friday gives pubs 43% fillip

After many years of intensive lobbying from publicans, the ban on buying alcohol on Good Friday was removed earlier this year allowing it to be sold for the first time in over 90 years. 

Data compiled by the AIB has found that  when pubs opened for that first time on Good Friday this year, overall card spending by domestic visitors increased by 43% compared to Good Friday 2017 when the pubs weren’t allowed open.

AIB’s data was compiled from its credit and debit cards, its ATM data and its Merchant Services card acquiring data.

This data also found that card spending dropped by 68% on Monday 16th October 2017 compared to the previous Monday as the impact of Storm Ophelia was felt across the country. It illustrates how, as extreme weather impacts our country, businesses need to budget for such events and perhaps plan for impact-based on storm forecasts, advises AIB.

When the ‘Beast from the East’ hit the country this year (1st-3rd March) card spending by domestic visitors dropped by 69% on the Thursday, 84% on the Friday and 53% on the Saturday.

AIB’s collated data found that men account for 58% of bar/restaurant spend on an analysis of domestic visitors – ie people’s spending on AIB debit and credit cards outside the county they live in.   

42% of non-domestic ATM withdrawal amounts are from UK & Northern Ireland visitors, with Dublin, Donegal, Cork and Louth having highest UK withdrawal amounts – therefore potentially most exposed to Brexit volatility (based on 2018 data to date).

AIB’s ATM data show that 42% of non-domestic ATM withdrawal value amounts are from the UK (including Northern Ireland) visitors; 25% of these withdrawal amounts occur in Dublin, followed by 16% in Donegal, 10% in Cork and 5% in Louth.

US visitors make 38% of their ATM withdrawal value amounts in Dublin, 13% in Kerry, 11% in Cork and 10% in Galway. German visitors make 42% of their withdrawal value amounts in Dublin, 13% in Cork, 13% in Kerry and 10% in Galway.

August is the most popular month for UK and German visitors to Ireland while July is the most popular month for US visitors.

The bank also considers that Irish people holidaying abroad can also be seen as potential customers for Irish hospitality providers. It’s interesting, therefore, to look at where Irish people are going. AIB’s data finds the UK the most popular destination with 29% of all foreign trip spending occurring here. Spain is in second place with 16% of the total Irish foreign spend, followed by the US at 10%.

December is the most popular time for Irish people travelling to the UK (including Northern Ireland) with July being the most popular time for Irish holidaying in the US and July the most popular time for Irish holidaying in Spain.

The average daily amount spent on an Irish Visa Debit card in the UK is €79, €152 for the US and €121 for Spain.

The information was presented at a National Tourism Forum in Killarney recently.

“The data we have collected allows our customers, stakeholders and industry bodies to make judgements based on sound and informative information,” said David McCarthy, Head of Hospitality & Tourism at AIB.






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