Home & Away
Fáilte Ireland’s consumer planning and insights division has released its latest consumer update of Irish people’s holiday travel intentions. Fieldwork for this wave took place between March 5th – 28th.
It reports that the desire for overseas travel is mitigated by low levels of confidence in actually being able to do so. Despite government messaging, many consumers still believe they will be able to travel overseas at some point – 33% intend to do so in the next 6 months, with the bulk of that being in July – September 2021. Only 37% of these consumers are actually confident that they will be able to go.
- Consumers are claiming that they are substituting their international trip with a local break. 52% of consumers will replace a long break overseas with a domestic trip and 48% will replace a short trip overseas with a domestic one.
- Should consumers be able to travel overseas a minority would discard all of their domestic trips but 32% will replace some of their domestic trips with overseas ones.
- On average, consumers intend taking two domestic trips this year which is on par with previous years.
As national restrictions begin to lift, consideration of domestic short breaks has gone up 4pp to 85%. This has filtered down into intent measures, in particular those for more immediate travel, i.e., with 3-month intention increasing. At the time of fieldwork, 3 months would include June which is the target month for the Government in terms of the large majority of adults being vaccinated.
A similar dynamic is apparent for long breaks abroad, with little change in 12-month intent masking some growth in travel intention for the next six months. 33% of consumers still intend to take a long break abroad, despite Government messaging about international travel.
The shifts in intention are being driven by consumers who had previously not intended to travel in 2021 now saying that they will travel.
Planning – Month of Intended Trip
The established seasonal patterns of trip timings remain consistent, with the continued exception of longer breaks extending into September. However, the willingness of unconstrained adults to travel outside the traditional peak months represents an opportunity, especially if international travel opportunities are uncertain. Consumers aim to take an average of two short breaks and 1.7 long breaks in the next year.
Consumer Spending Increasing
Credit and debit card spending increased by 14% in March compared to the previous month according to data from AIB.
In-store spend saw a significant increase and jumped 20% month on month. The busiest day for in-store spend was Saturday 13th March, the weekend before St Patrick’s Day as people stocked up ahead of the festivities.
Consumers took advantage of the good spring weather in March. With more businesses reopening takeaway services, spend in off-licences and pubs was up 30%. While restaurant spend increased by 19%. The home improvement trend is still prevalent with spend in hardware stores and garden centres up 38%.
Clothing and groceries spend was up 24% and 14% respectively.
Looking to the age profile, spend by those over the age of 65 was up 20%. The figures show the next highest spend increase was between those age 45-54 and 55-64 both at 16%.
Geographically, Waterford saw the biggest increase in spend, up by 17% on February followed by Kildare, Wicklow and Laois at 16%.
Rachel Naughton, Head of SME Banking at AIB said “It’s encouraging to see spend in some of the key consumer sectors up in March, following good weather, St Patrick’s Day and the rollout of the vaccine. Over the coming months as the vaccine rollout continues and we start to get more information on the easing of restrictions we expect consumers to start spending more of the money some have been saving during lockdown. It’s also important that as restrictions are lifted the sectors most impacted by this pandemic are supported in every way possible to ensure they can trade after this challenging period.”
In the week where we globally celebrated Earth Day, our attention turns to how brands and advertisers have an important role to play with regards to long-term sustainability and the health of the environment.
Many brands and companies have now seen the benefit of leading on environmental change with a plethora of sustainability commitments, pledges and initiative announced and innovations in packaging and product design to reduce their commercial carbon footprint. In recent years, climate change and sustainability have been a priority globally but no more so than last year as the world paused and reflected.
Our ‘Green Means GO-OH’ study, conducted late last year, found that the COVID-19 pandemic has altered our collective behaviour in relation to the environment and speaks to how consumers are placing more weight on sustainability.
As we strive to live more eco-friendly and sustainable lives, marketers have a responsibility to clearly highlight the efforts companies are doing to increase sustainability. Advertisers can become advocates and leaders in driving sustainability efforts while improving consumers perceptions of a brand at the same time.
As an industry, Outdoor is striving to become more environmentally sustainable. And as part of a joint commitment with Nestlé Ireland to improve sustainability in Out of Home advertising, we were thrilled to deliver Ireland’s first OOH campaign made entirely of recycled paper.
The campaign advertising the launch of KitKat Zebra, has used green printing techniques on 100% recycled paper. Unlike current processes, this new recycled paper collects used paper which has the ink removed and is pulped prior to reaching the papermaking stage.
This is an important step forward in delivering greener solutions to advertisers but to also do our part in reducing the industry’s environmental impact, one campaign at a time.