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Spending on flights trebles as people plan post-pandemic trips

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Passengers leaving the Departures Gate at Terminal 1 at Dublin Airport.

Passengers leaving the Departures Gate at Terminal 1 at Dublin Airport.

Passengers leaving the Departures Gate at Terminal 1 at Dublin Airport.

Spending on flights almost trebled last month, with Irish consumers hoping for a post-pandemic getaway.

Airline tickets expenditure was up by 192pc in May when compared with April, according to the latest Revolut spending report.

Those over the age of 55 spent even more on flights, in what is being labelled a vaccination bounce.

The number of Revolut customers spending money on flights more than doubled compared with April.

The surge in flight expenditure will be welcomed by airlines.

Despite the increase, overall spending on airlines last month was still less than half of what it was in February last year, before the pandemic struck.

The survey also shows spending on hotels was up in May.

The increase was driven by younger age groups.

Hotel spending by 18 to 24-year-olds was up 118pc month-on-month, with the 35 to 44 age group recording the next highest increase.

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Revolut, which says it has 1.3 million customers in Ireland, said the difference suggested older people who had been vaccinated were planning to travel abroad.

Younger age groups who will not be vaccinated for some time are spending on domestic tourism instead.

Restaurants and bars also got a significant boost in spending in May, with takeaways accounting for this.

Revolut said its customers spent 57pc more in bars compared with April. The increase in spending in bars was led by younger people.

May was the month when people were able to get back to the shops, and they did so in large numbers, providing a bonanza for retailers.

Overall spending in clothing stores was up by 51pc compared with April.

The positive effect was felt across all major retail categories, from shoe stores and jewellers to department stores and toy shops.

Sportswear shops saw spending surge by 33pc.

A large proportion of retail shopping was still being carried out online despite shops having reopened.

For shoe shopping, 46pc of spending was still being carried out online, as was 38pc of spending with department stores.

A large proportion of furniture store spending was also carried out online.

Overall, 53pc of Irish retail spending was carried out online last month. This is substantially higher than before the pandemic.

In February last year, only 30pc of retail spending was being undertaken over the internet.

“The surge in retail spending will be a relief to retailers as they finally reopened their doors to shoppers,” said Sebastian Hamilton, head of public affairs at Revolut Ireland.

“The travel industry will be hopeful the spike in spending on flights and hotels marks the start of a rebound for their sector too.”

Mr Hamilton said the fact that a majority of retail shopping was still taking place online was significant.

It is an adjustment to consumer behaviour that the retail sector will have to take on board to ensure its digital and physical offerings are
tailored to the needs of post-pandemic shoppers.


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