• Over a third of overseas visitors’ expenditure in the city goes on dining out1

  • Dublin booming as tourism grows 13.5% year-on-year in Q3 20182

Dublin/London, 20th December 2018: According to Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index Indulgences report, visitors to Dublin in 2017 spent a greater proportion of their travel budget – over a third (36%) - on dining out than any other city studied. The Indulgences report dives into where and what overseas travelers spend the most on, and offers insight into two of life’s greatest pleasures - dining and shopping.

Dublin’s renowned culinary culture has become the top experience for overseas visitors to splash out on. Visitors spent USD $800m in 2017, per the Mastercard GDCI, which bodes well for the city’s gourmet scene.

In addition, data analysed by Mastercard SpendingPulse™ for the most recent Dublin Economic Monitor (Q3 2018), shows that tourism is booming in the city, with visitor expenditure growing 13.5% year-on-year. Mastercard SpendingPulse provides insights into overall retail spending trends across all payment types, including cash. This is the highest rate of growth since Q1 2016 and is being driven by travelers from the US, France and China.

Mastercard SpendingPulse also shows 10.6% growth YoY (Q3 2018) in overall tourism spending in Ireland - a welcome boost for the economy.

According to Mastercard’s GDCI Indulgences report, Dubai was the top city for the most amount spent by international visitors on dining out – USD $5.94bn. Other global cities such as Singapore and London were also in the top 10 for overall food and beverage spend, but it’s worth noting that travelers are spending a lower percentage of their travel budgets on food in those cities (12.9% and 17.6%, respectively).

The report also reveals that travelers are spending big in Dubai and London on shopping for clothes, souvenirs and other goods. But visitors to London, Seoul and Johannesburg might want to bring a bigger suitcase - international travelers to all three cities are spending at least 40 percent of their travel budgets on shopping.

Sonya Geelon, Country Manager for Mastercard in Ireland commented: “The quality of food and fantastic experiences available when dining out in Dublin is now globally renowned, and this report just shows that overseas travelers are coming from far and wide to enjoy and prioritise the culinary delights that our city has to offer.

“Experiences are at the heart of what travelers’ value, which is why we offer programs like Mastercard Priceless Ireland to allow travelers to dive into the country’s unique culture.”

Mastercard is focused on helping cardholders travel the world with peace of mind through seamless planning, conveniences and connectivity at the destination and worry-free acceptance at millions of locations around the globe. Compelling travel offerings and benefits help travelers every step of their journey. More information can be found at mastercard.com.

The Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index and GDCI: Play Index, a breakout report focused on the top leisure destinations, were released earlier this year.


Mastercard media contact:

Lauren Jefferys

Communications Manager


+44 7966 308 213

Notes to Editor:

About Mastercard SpendingPulse

Mastercard SpendingPulse reports on national retail sales across all payment types in select markets around the world. The findings are based on aggregate sales activity in the Mastercard payments network, coupled with survey-based estimates for certain other payment forms, such as cash and cheques.

About the Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index

The Mastercard Index of Global Destination Cities ranks cities in terms of the number of their total international overnight visitor arrivals and the cross-border spending by these same visitors in the destination cities in 2017, and gives international overnight visitor growth forecasts for 2018.

Public data is used in deriving the international overnight visitor arrivals and their cross-border spending in each of the 162 destination cities.

Forecasts are based upon the weighted average of the national level tourism forecasts and the actual 2018 monthly data at the destination level, which is available to the latest month before release.

This Index and the accompanying reports are not based on Mastercard volumes or transactional data.