There could be a silver lining for the economy if Irish people choose to holiday at home this year, according to an analysis from KBC Bank Ireland.

If the usual spend on holidays abroad by Irish people is matched here, it could make up for the loss of income from the fall off in foreign visitors.

Citing the latest national income and expenditure data for 2019, consumer spending outside of the state amounted to about 6% of overall personal consumption and nearly 2% of Irish GDP. 

"This is slightly greater than the 1.4% of GDP spent by foreign visitors to Ireland," KBC economist Shawn Britton pointed out. 

"To the extent that the Government stimulus measures help encourage a significant portion of the money Irish consumers usually spend abroad is spent at home instead, it will offer some much-needed support to activity and employment in Ireland this year," she said.

There are suggestions that a tax refund scheme, that would enable customers using hotels, B&Bs, restaurants and other hospitality businesses to reclaim a portion of what they spent, may be included in today's July stimulus.

As part of the latest KBC consumer sentiment survey, an additional question around how Covid-19 had altered consumers' holiday plans was included.

Almost 55% said that they would not be taking their usual holiday abroad this year, while a further 7% reported that they would not be taking their usual holiday in Ireland.

Just over 7% said they would holiday in Ireland instead of going overseas while about 4% of Irish consumers said they intended to take a holiday abroad this year while they normally wouldn't. 

Nearly one in five consumers said they did not see coronavirus changing their holiday plans.

"It is not surprising that substantial numbers of Irish people have altered their holiday making behaviour because of the pandemic," Ms Britton said. 

"It is likely that caution regarding the coronavirus will continue to prevail and this will feed into increased spending on other items or increased saving. At the margin, there could be a silver lining in the holiday "lockdown" for the Irish economy."