Bank of Ireland customers spent almost 50% more on air travel in August than the previous month, according to new debit and credit card data.

The figures show that card transactions in Portugal were up 110% last month, with spending in Spain up 107% and Italy up 101%.

Spending in the UK rose by just 28% last month.

As many people continued to holiday in Ireland, debit and credit card spending by Bank of Ireland customers in the accommodation sector here was up by 20% compared with the previous month.

Popular tourist destinations such as Clare, Waterford, Donegal and Kerry all saw big spending lifts.

The data also shows that spending on car rentals rose by 34% in August.

According to the data, hospitality spend was up almost 30% last month, as indoor dining and pub service opened for those with Covid certificates.

Spending in restaurants was up 37%, while pub spend was up 32% and spend in fast food outlets was up 17%.

Ahead of the return to schools and college for students nationwide, spending in the education sector jumped 198% in August.

Secondary school spending spiked by 174% month on month, while spending in the third level area rose higher again by 405%.