Irish people spend €1 billion abroad with Visa cards last year

The UK, Spain and USA were most popular locations for Irish to use visa cards

Irish people spent €1.36 billion abroad with Visa cards in 2015, an increase of 8 per cent on the previous year. (Photograph: Matt Kavanagh / The Irish Times)

Irish people spent €1.36 billion abroad with Visa cards in 2015, an increase of 8 per cent on the previous year. (Photograph: Matt Kavanagh / The Irish Times)

 

Irish people spent €1.36 billion abroad with Visa cards in 2015, an increase of 8 per cent on the previous year.

The growth has been driven by the economic recovery and intense airline competition which has fuelled passenger growth.

The bulk of spending takes place over the summer, with more than 40 per cent (€5.48 million) spent as Irish tourists take their holidays between June and September.

In addition to the summer months being a popular time for spending, the figures also show the surge in popularity of winter breaks, as overall spending across the months of October, November and December has increased on average 9 per cent year on year.

There was a significant rise in spending by Irish travellers in European destinations last year, with Spain (22 per cent increase), Italy (25 per cent increase), Germany (20 per cent increase) and the Netherlands (30 per cent increase) seeing the largest levels of growth.

Factors such as increased access via new flight routes also saw Iceland to experience a 97 per cent increase in spending by Irish travellers.

The top three most popular destinations for visa cards to be spent last year were the United Kingdom (€400 million), Spain (€214 million) and USA (€165 million).

Philip Konopik, Country Manager Ireland, Visa Europe, said the significant increase in spending by Irish Visa cardholders abroad last year, highlights the growth in foreign travel as the economy recovers.

“We’ve benefited from this as tourists and business travellers are increasingly opting to use their cards instead of having to convert cash,” said Mr Konopik.