John Lambert Pearson via Flickr

Tourists spent big using payment cards during The Gathering

A 21 per cent increase was driven by UK and US visitors in 2013.

OVERSEAS VISITORS SPENT 21 per cent more using Visa payment cards in the first nine months of 2013.

More than €1 in every €7 spent in Ireland is now being spent on a Visa card and spending by overseas cardholders has been driven mainly by tourists from the UK and US.

Spending by US visitors has risen by 43 per cent compared to the same period 2012 in and averages €750,000 a day while UK visitor spending is worth €1,200,000 a day to the Irish economy.

The top ten nationalities by level of spending with Visa cards were:

  1. United Kingdom – €329,500,000 (€1,200,000 a day)
  2. United States Of America – €207,200,000 (€750,000 a day)
  3. France – €43,500,000 (€159,250 a day)
  4. Canada – €26,950,000 (€98,750 a day)
  5. Spain – €22,500,000 (€82,500 a day)
  6. 6. Australia – €20,500,000 (€75,250 a day)
  7. Germany – €19,2750,000 (€72,500 a day)
  8. Italy – €11,500,000 (€42,250 a day)
  9. Norway – €11,200,000 (€41,000 a day)
  10. Sweden – €9,250,000 (€25,000 a day)

There was in increase in spending using cards by each of these nationalities apart from Italian visitors. Some of the biggest spending categories were hotels, car hire and entertainment. The biggest spike in spending occurred in March around the St Patrick’s Day festivities, with the value of transactions rising 33 per cent compared to the previous year.

Spending on car hire during the month spiked by 70 per cent and hotel sales increased by 19 per cent.

Conor Langford, Country Manager Ireland for Visa Europe, said the government “should be congratulated for boosting visitor number through The Gathering initiative”.

“Our data clearly demonstrates that the increase in tourist numbers has also led to a direct economic return,” he added.

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