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A ‘disappointing start’ to 2024 for Dublin’s hospitality sector

It has been a disappointing start to 2024 for Dublin’s hospitality industry, with entertainment spending in hotels, bars and restaurants down 2.5% in the first quarter.

This is according to the latest data Spending Pulse a report – provided by MasterCard Advisors and produced in partnership with Grant Thornton on behalf of four Dublin local authorities – on retail performance nationally and in Dublin.

The data shows the most significant decline in the hospitality sector since the end of the pandemic, in 2021.

“Normalization”

“In Dublin, the entertainment sector is witnessing strong growth in the post-pandemic recovery phase, starting in the second quarter of 2021.” – said Michael McNamara, global director of Spending PulseMasterCard.

“The sector’s growth rate is normalizing as we move away from the deep declines that occurred during the pandemic.

“Tourism spending remains strong, with growth in Dublin and across Ireland.”

Back to growth

The report shows that tourism spending in the Dublin economy returned to growth in the first quarter of 2024, with growth of 0.9% quarter-on-quarter and 4.7% year-on-year.

This followed a weak final quarter of 2023 in which spending declined slightly.

US tourist spending

The value of guest spending from the US market recorded a second quarterly decline in a row.

Spending in this market – which the report notes is “vital” to the Dublin and national economy – fell by 3.3% quarter-on-quarter, which will be worrying as the summer season approaches.

“Background of Fluctuations”

The Chinese market also saw a decline in spending, which amounted to 23.2% in the first quarter.

On the other hand, spending by French tourists increased by more than 26% quarter-on-quarter, although this is due to “fluctuations” throughout 2023.

In the first quarter, tourism spending in Dublin was further supported by the UK and German markets, with growth of 5.5% and 3.3% quarter-on-quarter respectively.