Hotels a hotspot for drinks suppliers as Ireland’s tourism bounces back

CGA research shows how the return of tourism in Ireland brings great opportunities for suppliers and operators in the hotel channel.

Two years of disruption to international travel and domestic holidays has had a damaging impact on tourist spending. However, with restrictions now eased, Ireland can expect to see a big boost to inbound visitor numbers and staycations.  

 

CGA’s On Premise User Survey (OPUS) has shown how hotels could have a head start as the market revives. In late 2021, 59% of consumers said they felt confident about visiting bars—but the number was much higher in hotels, at 75%. 

 

This confidence should trigger high spending in hotels in 2022. A quarter (24%) of consumers who visit hotels say they plan to do so more often over the next 12 months than they did in 2019—a higher number than both bars (19%) and drink-led pubs (21%). With nine in ten (92%) having a drink when they visit a hotel, there is a huge opportunity for drinks suppliers and operators to capitalise. 

 

However, businesses will have to ensure their strategies respond to the latest consumer habits and preferences in the channel. CGA’s OPUS research helps to pinpoint key drivers of sales, including: 

 

 

The popularity of weekend breaks. Nearly two thirds (63%) of hotel consumers take these, ahead of numbers staying for holidays (56%) and celebrations (43%). 

 

 

 

Interest in hot drinks. Two in five (39%) hotel visitors drink them on visits, ahead of wine (37%), soft drinks (34%), lager (29%) and cocktails (24%). 

 

 

 

The appeal of new drinks. Two in five (42%) consumers say they are more likely to try new brands in hotels than in other venues. They are also more likely to be influenced by price and recommendations from menus and staff. 

 

 

CGA’s senior client manager – Ireland, Katie Lawton said: “Ireland’s hotels have been a stop-start channel for suppliers over the last two years, but we can expect a strong revival this year. People who have saved money by skipping holidays will be looking to treat themselves, and there will be some great opportunities to build new brands as well as consolidate trusted ones. But in an unpredictable and competitive channel, it will be essential to follow consumers’ habits and stay agile in planning.” 

 

CGA’s OPUS research powers CGA’s Channel Strategy service, which helps suppliers and operators isolate consumers’ needs and attitudes in specific On Premise channels. It reveals which channels are best aligned to particular brands and categories, where to focus resources and how to capture consumers’ interest and win spend. To learn more, email Sian Brennan at sian.brennan@cgastrategy.com. 

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