Brexit drives UK spend fall in Cork restaurants, hotels

UK spending in Cork hotels and restaurants has fallen sharply due to exposure to the slump in the value of sterling following the UK’s Brexit vote, according to an AIB report.

The report is based on figures AIB collected on spending in Cork hotels, restaurants, and pubs by residents and tourists alike.

It also shows that the upswing in North American visitors has helped cushion the effects of lower spending by UK visitors.

Sterling slumped by 15% against the euro since the UK voted in summer 2016 to leave the EU. Hotels in the region generate only 17% from home residents and are “significantly more reliant” on tourism than pubs or restaurants. 

Cork’s pub trade is most heavily reliant upon the domestic economy — with 91% of its trade coming from domestic spend, while restaurants generate 88% from people living in Ireland.

Cork is the most “pubbed” in the country: It has 955 pubs, compared with 722 in Dublin, meaning there is one pub for every 543 people. Analysis of the figures for people who live in the UK shows their spending in pubs grew 1.3%.

However, UK spending fell 13% and 10%, respectively, in restaurants and hotels in the 12 months to October. UK spending accounted for 3.5% of the total pub revenues in Cork in 2017, 4% of total restaurant revenues, and 11% of total hotel revenues.

The hotel market is more exposed to Brexit than pubs and restaurants sectors, according to the report.

North American spending in Cork pubs grew by 18%, but there was a decline of 7% in restaurants from the same visitors.

North Americans spent 3% more in hotels in Cork in 2017, as opposed to the 14% growth posted in the Republic as a whole.

Most Read in Business