A new survey published today shows further evidence of a growing two-tier outlook in the tourism and hospitality industries between Dublin and the rest of the country.
Two out of every three Dublin pubs expect to see their business grow in 2019, the new survey from the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) shows.
But this positive outlook of Dublin pubs is in contrast to the uncertainty experienced by hospitality and tourism businesses based outside the capital, with difficult trading conditions being widely reported.
Today's survey reveals that 48% of Dublin pubs are forecasting growth in the region of 1-10%, while 18% of Dublin pubs forecast growth of 11- 24%.
While the majority of Dublin pubs expect to see an increase in business, 21% believe things will stay the same this year, and 10% are forecasting a 1-10% drop in business.
The LVA survey also found that the average Dublin pub expects to hire an additional five staff members during 2019 - two in full time roles and three for part time positions.
This adds to the current 12 full time staff members and 15 part time members of staff employed on average in pubs across the capital.
But despite the positive outlook, challenges do remain for Dublin pubs, with staffing, Brexit, insurance and competition being the areas of greatest concern.
Pubs in the capital faced an average insurance cost increase of 50% over the last three years and the average insurance premium for Dublin pubs is now €25,000 a year.
The survey also revealed that more than half of the pubs across Dublin also suspect they have been the victims of a fraudulent claim within the last five years.
Meanwhile, one third of pubs in Dublin say that credit and debit cards now account for more than half of all their transactions.
Donal O'Keeffe, chief executive of the LVA, said the survey shows that the outlook for the Dublin pub trade is very positive for the year ahead with most Dublin pubs expecting to see their main business and their food business grow over the course of 2019.
But he said that optimism would seem to confirm the growing discrepancy throughout the tourism and hospitality sector, with a two-tier system developing.
Mr O'Keeffe said that tourism and hospitality businesses in Dublin are thriving, while widespread reports would suggest the conditions in other parts of the country are more difficult for all businesses in this sector.