Bank of Ireland Valentine’s Analysis – Hotel spend increases 1,001%
Leitrim, Tipperary and Offaly are the most romantic counties.
Bank of Ireland
IHF Associate Member

Bank of Ireland debit and credit card analysis for the pre-Valentine’s Day period of 4th – 8th February revealed an explosion of pent-up consumer demand. The total spend for the period was up a massive 456% when compared to same timeframe in 2021, as shoppers flocked to buy traditional Valentine’s gifts such as chocolates, jewellery, perfume and even spa breaks.

The nationwide pre-Valentine’s spending analysis painted an interesting picture, with shoppers in Leitrim (+757%) leading the way, followed by consumers in Tipperary (+603%) and Offaly (+518%). It was the opposite story however in Carlow (+326%), which recorded the lowest spending on Valentine’s items of all counties, with shoppers in Clare (+336%) and Cork (+384%) also proving (for the time being at least!) to be somewhat more resistant to the charms of the annual outpouring of love.

With most aspects of life returning to normal following the lifting of the majority of Covid restrictions the lure of enjoying some chilled out time at a spa proved tempting for many, with outlay in this area rising by 435%, while spend on hotels soared by 1,001%. And the spending data also revealed that people most certainly want to look their best for their partners, with total spending on grooming and beauty products spiking by a whopping 883%, while men placed their trust in perennial pleasers like perfume (+48%) and chocolates (+40%).

And in a sign that love is eternal it wasn’t just the youth of the nation looking to treat that special someone in their lives, with the 46 - 55 age cohort topping the spending table by producing a spending rise of +520%, headlined by an outlay on jewellery that increased by 247%. The 36 - 45 age group splashed out by 393% when compared to the same period in 2021, obviously keen to get away from it all with hotel spending going up by 966%. While the 26 - 35 age cohort focussed more on looking their best, as spending on grooming and beauty items rose by 664%.

Commenting on the pre-Valentine’s Day spending patterns, Jilly Clarkin, Head of Customer Journeys & SME Markets at Bank of Ireland said: “It’s a time of year when the January blues have been banished and when people can look forward to brighter days. This is reflected in the pre-Valentine’s Day spending data, as consumer’s opened their wallets and splashed out on items that perhaps would not have been a priority 12 months ago. But there is no doubt that many are making up for lost time, with outlay on hotel and spa breaks rising massively and special treats like chocolates and perfume also receiving spending boosts.

The nationwide picture is a positive one as consumers proved keen to spend in the lead up to February 14th, with notable rises also recorded in Roscommon (+576%), Wicklow (+568%) and Waterford (+564%). But overall the story is one of plans being hatched and romantic preparations being made as consumers look to spoil that their own special Valentine this year.”

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Contact details

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Gerardo Larios Rizo
Head of Hospitality Sector

087 795 1253

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