• Cyril McAree

Quarter Of Hotel Spend Reliant On The UK - AIB Hospitality And Tourism Outlook 2019

AIB today published its Hospitality and Tourism Outlook for 2019 to give holistic view of the industry using card spending data on a national and regional level across the subsectors of accommodation, restaurants, pubs and attractions. The figures quoted, are anonymised and aggregated and were compiled from AIB Merchant Services card data over a twelve month period unless otherwise stated*. At the launch of the Outlook report a cheque for €2,000 was presented to the Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation by AIB to support their on-going work with children and families in communities all over Ireland.

David McCarthy, Head of Hospitality & Tourism at AIB said “AIB, as the largest lender to the hospitality sector in Ireland is backing the industry by providing key insights across drinking, accommodation, eating, and attractions sectors. We have attempted to take a holistic view to hospitality in Ireland and have taken both a regional and seasonal view of each subsector in order to assist informing the industry.”

“Last year was an unprecedented year for the industry which saw the highest levels of international visitors and spend on record and AIB are proud to have played a part in contributing towards that and will continue to support the industry into the future. We urge businesses to take social, environmental and economic responsibility seriously, which will create a more sustainable national hospitality sector.”


Currently there are over 820 hotels in Ireland with a combined total of c. 60,000 rooms, one for every 80 people in the county. In Dublin alone there are 154 hotels or 20,290 hotel rooms, which is more than anywhere else in the country. August is the busiest month for hotels nationally, except for Dublin hotels which buck the trend and have their busiest month in July. Overall it is estimated that consumer spending in hotels was €4.5bn in 2018 with domestic spend making up almost half (46%). United Kingdom spend comprised of 24% of the total while North America (18%), Europe (7%) and the rest of the world (6%) made up the rest.


Consumers spent an estimated €1.98bn on dining out in Irish restaurants last year with spend in Dublin in the region of €1.08bn. Cork restaurants pulled in €196m last year while Galway restaurants are estimated to have taken in €115m. When it comes to breakdown of spend, domestic spend accounts for €8 of every €10 spent in Irish restaurants while spend from the United Kingdom makes up €1 in €10. Nationally, the busiest month for restaurants is December but in areas which rely heavily on tourism such as the North West, August is the busiest month.


Consumer spend in pubs is estimated to have been in the region of €1.01bn last year, with domestic spend accounting for over 80%, or €4 of every €5. Spend from the United Kingdom contributed to 10% of the market while the North American (5%), European (3%) and rest of the world comprised of the remainder. Spend in Dublin pubs contributes to almost half of the total spend in pubs across Ireland (47%) while spending in Cork contributed to 9% of national spending and Galway 8%. Nationally the busiest month for spending in pubs is December (also the busiest month for restaurants). When broken down regionally, Galway bucks the trend and the busiest month for spending in pubs there is August, most likely due to the Galway races and other festivals and events in the city during this month.


When it comes to visiting Irish tourist attractions, the biggest market share belongs to visitors from North America who make up 38% visitors, while domestic visitors make up 28% of the market. Europe (18%), the United Kingdom (9%) and the rest of the world (6%) comprised of the remainder.

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