New research shows that the average domestic card transaction in the hospitality sector is up this year as consumers spend their holiday time in Ireland and pent-up demand is released.  

The data from AIB was compiled from over one million of the bank's debit and credit card transactions up to August 3 and has been anonymised and aggregated.

AIB said the average card transaction in pubs that have reopened and are serving food has increased 50% year on year. It noted this may be as a result of the requirement for a €9 meal to be purchased. 

The average card transaction in restaurants is up 17% year on year, with the average transaction in hotels up 16% year on year. 

During the month of July - the first full month of reopening - consumers spent €19m in pubs, €30m in restaurants and €28m in hotels. However, spend is still down when compared with the same month last year.

Today's figures show that consumers in Monaghan (€40.95) and Kilkenny (€38.28) are spending the most in pubs per card transaction and those in Clare (€28.46) and Donegal (€30.19) are spending the least. 

Meanwhile, consumers in Kildare spent the most per card transaction in restaurants (€27.17), with those in Carlow spending the least (€19.24).

Rachel Naughton, Head of SME Banking at AIB said that after coming to a complete standstill as a result of Covid-19, the bank was seeing encouraging signs within the tourism and hospitality sectors in their first month of re-opening as people were allowed travel and visit hotels, pubs and restaurants again. 

"Notably the average AIB card transaction amount in these key sectors is up compared with the same period last year. This can be attributed to pent-up demand and increased preference for card usage," Ms Naughton said. 

"However, although we have seen some early positive indicators these businesses will need vital supports over the next 12 months to get them through this difficult period and help them start recovering from what has been a devastating period for all businesses," she added.