General Industry

Kerry Was Top Spot For Domestic Summer Holidays This Year, According To AIB

By Dave Simpson
Kerry Was Top Spot For Domestic Summer Holidays This Year, According To AIB

Kerry was the top spot for domestic summer holidays this year, with Irish consumers choosing the county as their destination of choice over Galway and Cork, which were the second and third most popular choices, according to the latest Spend Trend report from AIB.

Last year, Cork was the country's most popular destination for Irish visitors, followed by Kerry, according to AIB Spend Trend data.

The hotel spend data for the summer months of June, July and August of this year 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.

Those from Mayo spent the most in Dublin hotels during August, which was the same month that both counties clashed in the All-Ireland Semi Final in Croke Park.

In July and June, the majority of hotel spend from those from Mayo was in Kerry hotels.

Head Of SME Banking At AIB Statement

The head of SME Banking at AIB, John Brennan, stated, "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."

August Spend Trend Overview

Overall, consumer spending in August was down 1.5% on July, with contactless and chip & pin spend both being down by 5%. However, online spending during August was up 4%, bucking the trend for the month.

The busiest day for consumer spending was Friday August 27, which was pay day for many, with consumers spending €8 million an hour throughout the day. Meanwhile, the quietest day for spending was Sunday August 22, when consumers spent an average of €4 million an hour throughout the day, based on total spending for the day over 12 hours of being opened, from 9am-9pm.


Spending among all age groups was down during August, with the exception of under 25s, among whom spending rose 4% on July. The biggest decrease came from those over 65, among whom spending was down 4% month on month.

Spending across other sectors during August was as follows:

Sector Increase / Decrease (On July)
Airline +39%
Clothing -3%
Electronics -3%
Groceries -9%
Hardware -6%
Health & Beauty -8%
Homewares -4%
Hotels -1%
Restaurants +4%
Pubs & Off-Licences +4%

AIB Spend Trend Information

According to AIB, the AIB Spend Trend 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 August 1 and August 31, 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, according to AIB.

© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.