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Northern Ireland folk to give up holidays? No chance

The Irish are not prepared to sacrifice their foreign holidays whatever the economic climate, it was revealed today.

While a cross-border study gave clear indications that consumers are suffering and do recognise the need to curb spending in these recessionary times, and are doing so, the holiday away seems sacrosanct — perhaps not surprising given the wet summer weather.

A massive 89% in Northern Ireland and 86% in the Republic said they were not prepared to swap foreign trips for a holiday at home. But in many other areas tough times have brought changes.

And consumer thriftiness is likely to outlive the recession on both sides of the border, according to the research published by Mintel Ireland.

The report 'Irish Lifestyles 2009' showed some interesting differences in attitudes on each side of the border — reflecting the much deeper impact of recession in the Republic where the implications are likely to be more widespread and longer lasting.

One in four consumers there said they believed their lifestyle or standard of living will change significantly because of the recession, while in Northern Ireland only one in 10 thought they would be so affected.

Julie Sloan, director of Mintel Ireland, said: “Unemployment figures have shot through the roof and consumers are wary of what the future will bring.

“Relatively low-key behavioural differences like shopping occasionally at discounters, or buying own-label instead of premium brands is helping consumers to assert control themselves,” she said.

“The risk for retailers and branded manufacturers is that these habits will persevere beyond the recovery from recession.”

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