Ballybunion Beach in Kerry
Kerry may not have won Sam Maguire this year, but the Kingdom is the country's most popular choice for a staycation.
Kerry was the top spot for domestic summer holidays this year, with Irish consumers choosing The Kingdom as their destination of choice over Galway and Cork, the second and third most popular choices.
Last year Cork was the country’s most popular destination for Irish visitors, followed by Kerry.
With Covid-19 restrictions easing slightly over the summer, many chose a holiday in Ireland, with foreign travel still restricted during that time.
The hotel spend data for the summer months of June, July and August revealed that Kerry was the top destination for visitors from the majority of counties each month.
Other popular destinations for Irish people this summer included Donegal and Dublin.
When it came to where in Ireland people preferred to holiday this summer, the data revealed that:
* Those from Cork, Dublin and Limerick choose Kerry as their holiday destination of choice this year, however those from Kerry could only choose one county as their top destination and this was Cork.
* Those from Waterford choose Cork as their top destination of choice this year, while those from Galway choose Dublin as their top destination of choice.
* During August, those from Mayo spent the most in Dublin hotels – the same month both counties clashed in the All-Ireland Semi Final in Croke Park. In July and June, the majority of hotel spend from those in Mayo was in Kerry hotels.
The information was gleaned from The AIB Spend Trend, which, AIB says, features one of the most comprehensive and accurate data sets on consumer spending in Ireland.
Data was compiled from AIB Debit and Credit card spending from just under 55 million transactions between the 1st and 31st August 2021.
To account for the difference in the number of days in each month the AIB Spend Trend looks at average daily spend instead of total monthly spend, providing an accurate reflection of consumer spending habits.
John Brennan, Head of SME Banking at AIB said: ”Since the hospitality sector reopened a few months ago, we have seen a steady increase in spending by consumers across hotels, pubs and restaurants.
"As is evident by our Spend Trend report this month, Kerry was the place where the most consumers were spending money on hotels – pipping Galway and Cork to become Ireland’s top holiday destination this year. Elsewhere, we saw overall spend decrease this month when compared with July, with consumer goods sectors such as clothing, health and beauty and electronics all down.”
Overall, consumer spending in August was down 1.5% on July, with contactless and chip and pin spend both down 5% respectively. However, online spending during August was up 4%, bucking the trend for the month.
The busiest day for consumer spending was Friday 27th August – pay day for many - with consumers spending €8 million an hour throughout the day. Meanwhile the quietest day for spending was Sunday 22nd August where consumers spent an average of €4 million an hour throughout the day*.
Spending among all age groups was down during August, with the exception of under 25s where spending rose 4% on July. The biggest decrease came from those over 65 where spending was down 4% month on month.
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