There’s been a big increase in people planning to spend more money than usual on their holidays this year.
The latest consumer sentiment survey from KBC Bank also shows that more than a quarter of people now feel they can’t afford a holiday at all this year.
Some 27% of people said they are prepared to spend more to get away, up from 20% last year.
The number of people planning to increase their spending by more than one-fifth, jumped from 5% last year to 8% this year.
KBC said the figures suggest many people still have extra money saved up from the lockdowns of previous years and are determined to get away after the pain of the pandemic.
On The Pat Kenny Show this morning, KBC Bank Economist Austin Hughes said the 23% of people who can’t afford to go on holidays is a relatively modest increase on last year given the ongoing cost of living crisis.
He said the real figure could be higher with 13% of people still unsure whether they can afford to get away.
Also on the show, travel expert Eoghan Corry said holiday operators are not seeing the same number of bookings they would have pre-pandemic.
He said holidays are looking more expensive than ever this year – particularly at home.
“Prices are looking very, very high for Ireland,” he said.
“Particularly when you go on to a holiday site and look at what it is available in the short term. Very high prices for Ireland and sometimes lower prices kicking in from abroad.
“A good example would be the end of May, €550 for a week in Spain and what I have seen happening with the Irish hospitality industry is, we have a traditionally high-end product, but a lot of hotels are ratcheting up the prices a little bit.
“Not all our hotels are like Ashford Castle, Dromoland, Adare and the K Club but a lot of the prices are moving into that bracket.
“There are a couple of other factors to that. While things like food and beverage will be dictated by costs, accommodation is pure supply and demand – it's what the public will bear.”
Mr Corry said comparing the cost of a holiday at home and abroad can be complicated, with people often forgetting hidden costs.
He noted that, while there is no doubt that the cost of living in southern Europe is much lower than northern, the cost of flights will often make it more expensive to holiday there.
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