We're priciest holiday spot for food and drink
IRELAND is one of the priciest holiday destinations in Europe for eating out and groceries but among the cheapest for hotels, car hire and petrol.
In the week Irish food prices were shown to be among the dearest in Europe, a new survey by 'Which? Holiday', a British Consumers' Association magazine, gives us a mixed report on value for tourists.
It finds that eating out in Ireland can still break the bank, with a typical meal costing nearly twice as much here as it would in cheapest Poland.
The bill for an identical meal for two with wine at Pizza Hut clocks in at over €62 in Ireland compared with less than €33 in Poland, €42.40 in the UK, €37 in Germany, €46 in Portugal, and €51 in Spain. It is the wine that causes the most pain on the Irish bill, with the cheapest bottle costing close to €20, compared with between €7 and €13 in most other countries.
And a basket of typical tourist groceries from the supermarket rang in at €10.47 in Ireland, 62pc more than in cheapest Portugal at €6.45. Only Switzerland had higher prices for the basket (€14.17), which included items such as bottled water, Pringles, apples and Coca-Cola, while prices were also surprisingly high in French and Turkish supermarkets at over €10.
When it came to hotels, however, Ireland was the cheapest, with a four-star Dublin hotel costing €89 compared to €186 in pricey Paris, while three- and five-star hotels in Ireland were also among the cheapest.
Car hire in Ireland was also the cheapest in Europe, with a week's hire from Dublin Airport in September costing €167, less than half the price charged in Istanbul (€348) and much cheaper than Paris (€222), London (€196) and Rome (€244).
Filling up with petrol was also relatively cheap here, with a litre costing €1.32 compared with €2.12 in Turkey, €1.38 in Britain and €1.39 in France.
Tourism Minister Mary Hanafin said that it was cheap to get to and stay in Ireland, making it very good value overall for tourists. "There has never been a better time to visit Ireland," she said.