Sunday 18 August 2019

UK tourists are spending less here as pound value weakens

Fantastic potential: Tourists feeding deer in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. PHOTO: Damien Eagers/
Fantastic potential: Tourists feeding deer in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. PHOTO: Damien Eagers/
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Visitors from the UK have reduced their spending on retail here, as increased political uncertainly and a weakening in the value of the pound takes its toll.

With a hard Brexit looking more likely, UK tourists spent around 5.6pc less across Ireland in the three months to June 30 than in the same period last year.

Meanwhile, their expenditure was down 2.6pc year-on-year in Dublin, according to the latest Dublin Economic Monitor (DEM) figures.

This comes despite figures from the Central Statistics Office showing a modest increase in the number of visitors from Britain to Ireland in the first six months of this year.

There was also a reduction in spending by German visitors in Dublin during the three-month period.

Steven O'Gara, economic development officer with Dublin City Council and programme manager of the DEM, said: "The Dublin economy has continued to perform really well in spite of the looming shadow of Brexit, with strong job creation and positive economic indicators.

"However, the continuing erosion of our competitiveness as a destination to UK visitors is of serious concern."

He added that the tourism sector was a huge part of the city's economic mix and "has fantastic potential for growth into the future".

Despite the fall in spending by UK and German visitors, tourism retail spending in Dublin is up 8.7pc from the same time last year.

This is being driven by visitor spending from the United States and China, which continues to grow significantly, increasing 12.8pc and 10pc on 2018 figures respectively.

That said, the ongoing escalation of trade disputes between those two economies could potentially have an impact on tourist performance in the coming quarters, according to the DEM.

Overall, Dublin's economy is performing well, with the city's employment rate continuing to improve.

The number of people employed in the capital is now 706,000, and an additional 5,800 people were added to the workforce in the first quarter of the year.

The DEM is produced every three months by EY-DKM Economic Advisory on behalf of the four Dublin local authorities.

Irish Independent

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