Young people were at the forefront of a celebratory spending spree in the days immediately after Covid-19 restrictions ended on the hospitality sector, new figures have confirmed.
Bank of Ireland has provided credit and debit card data to the Irish Examinerwhich reveals that total social spending by all age groups climbed 26% last weekend when public health curbs were lifted.
Pubs registered a 53% spending boost compared to the previous weekend — when the 8pm curfew was in place — while restaurants tapped up an increase of 13%.
However, it was the 18 to 25-year-olds who splurged the most, with their spending surging 110% in pubs, and by 17% in restaurants, when compared with the previous weekend, and up by a remarkable 160% from the same weekend two years ago before the onset of the Covid-19 crisis.
Bank of Ireland said its credit and debit card data showed spending by the over-65s was somewhat more moderate.
Their spending in pubs was up 10%, and in restaurants by 11%, from the previous weekend, but their overall social spending was still down, by 9%, from the same pre-Covid weekend in 2020.
The Bank of Ireland figures show Dublin accounted for 38% of the total social spend last weekend, with Cork and Galway each accounting for a share of 8%.
But the bank said Donegal “stood out”, with pub spending up 105% from the pre-Covid January weekend in 2020, and in Waterford by 107%.
Gerardo Larios-Rizo, head of the hospitality sector at Bank of Ireland, said the lifting of most of the restrictions after 22 months had brought huge “relief to innumerable stakeholders”.
“Businesses must now ramp up their staff numbers and prepare to adjust to the gradual return of the new business as usual which might take a little while,” he said, adding that hoteliers were the most optimisti