Spending Takes Off At Dublin Airport

By Dave Simpson
Spending Takes Off At Dublin Airport

Bank of Ireland debit card spending analysis in Dublin Airport  for February and March of this year has revealed that spending took off as passengers spent more time navigating the terminals. Overall spending at Dublin Airport was 39% higher in March than the month before, with the number of debit card transactions rising by 30% in total.

Bank of Ireland's data shows that spending on currency conversion in the airport rose by 53% in March when compared to February, while spending in the airport car parks accelerated by 35% in the same period. And duty free retailers experienced a spending surge as the airport filled up in March, with total spend on popular holiday items rocketing by 27%, and the number of total transactions up 23%.

Many people wanted to be closer to the airport to try and beat the lengthy queues, so spend in the surrounding airport hotels soared by 34% in March, with total transactions in this area up by 26%.

Statement By Head of Customer Journeys & SME Markets at Bank of Ireland

Head of customer journeys & SME markets at Bank of Ireland Jilly Clarkin stated, "Barely a day went by in March when the news cameras weren’t focussed on the ever-lengthening queues at Dublin airport, so it is not surprising that spending levels soared during the period. While delays brought stress for travellers, having more people on the Dublin Airport complex provided a boon to certain businesses, with spending spikes recorded for local hoteliers, in the duty free concessions and in the various car parks. We may see continued strong spend at airport terminals throughout the summer months, as passengers will be more inclined to turn up very early for their flights."

Bank Of Ireland Spending In Dublin Airport: March 2022 Vs February 2022


Total spend                        +39%

Currency Conversion         +53%

Airport car parks                   +35%

Surrounding Hotels               +34%

Duty Free                                +27%

Hospitality Businesses Record Boost After St. Patrick's Day

The above news from Bank of Ireland followed news from AIB that businesses in the hospitality sector including those in the restaurant, pub and hotel trade recorded a surge in spending on St Patrick's Day, with pubs and hotels performing particularly strongly. Hotels had their busiest day on 17 March, recording over 50,000 transactions throughout the day as people enjoyed the national holiday. Meanwhile pubs recorded 345,000 transactions on the 17th, compared with only 28,000 transactions on the quietest day of the month, 21 March.

While restaurants recorded a surge in spending on St Patrick's Day, their busiest day of the month was 26 March, which was the day after pay day for many workers across the country.

The data was compiled from over one million card transactions by Irish consumers during March of this year and has been anonymised and aggregated. All comparisons are based on March versus February data unless otherwise stated. Based on this data, AIB revealed that:

  • Overall, spending was up 2% in March compared to the previous month as consumers spent €80 million a day throughout the month of March.
  • Digital wallet payments were up 8% as consumers spent almost €10 million a day using the technology, or one in every eight euro spent during the month.
  • March 25, pay day for most people, was the busiest day of the month for consumer spending.
  • As people continue to return to bricks and mortar stores, e-commerce was down 1% in March.
  • Airline spend was down 10% in the month having reached a high in January, while clothing (+5%), hardware (+10%), homewares (+5%) and health & beauty (+1%) were all up.

Statement By AIB Head Of SME Banking

Speaking about the Spend Trend, AIB head of SME banking John Brennan stated, "For the first time in two years we were able to celebrate St Patrick's Day in person as is evident by consumer spending across the hospitality sector on the day. The hotel and pub trades recorded their busiest day of the month as consumers flocked to enjoy the national holiday with family and friends.

"Separately, overall consumer spending was up 2% in March as consumer spending remains steady, with digital wallet payments up 8% showing how increasingly popular the cashless payment method is becoming. Consumers spent on average €10 million a day by tapping their phones which is equivalent to one in every eight euro being spent via a digital wallet."

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