Swimming and Paddling Pool Sales Rocket during July Heatwave as Spending Increases at Tourist Attractions & Amusement Parks

Social Spending Rises Highest in Cork, Clare & Roscommon

Bank of Ireland analysis of debit card transactions for the week ending July 25th revealed that Irish people basked in the glorious heatwave while dipping their toes in newly purchased swimming and paddling pools, with week on week sales rising by a massive 171% when compared to the week ending July 18th. All across the country the exceptionally high temperatures also proved to be a boon for visits to amusement parks and carnivals (+8%) and for popular tourist attractions and exhibits (+10%).

The data reveals that on a geographical spread social spending in counties such as Cork (+13%), Roscommon (+15%) and Clare (+7%) was ahead of the pack in terms of heatwave outlay, while those resident in counties such as Meath (+0.8%), Donegal (+1%) and Wicklow (+1%) enjoyed the sunshine while reining in their weekly spending.

Spending on car rentals rose by 23% during the heatwave as people flocked to beaches and beauty spots nationwide to soak up the sun, while those who opted to stick closer to home cooled down by spending on air conditioning and refrigeration repairs (+33%).

Perhaps not surprisingly opting to remain in darkened rooms for long stretches while the sun blazed didn’t appeal to many, as cinema spending declined 19% for the week. But with the heatwave now receding into people’s memories and regular Irish weather patterns resuming it’s only a matter of time before normal service is restored.

The 56-65 age cohort appeared to really enjoy the heatwave, leading the way in social spending terms by producing a weekly rise of 10%. People located in the 26-35 age bracket followed (+8%) and those in the 36-45 category recorded a weekly increase of +6%.

The thought of cooking at home and working over a hot stove lost its appeal for many as temperatures soared, with restaurant spending going up by 6%, and spending in fast-food outlets growing by another 4%. And as most people enjoyed the hot weather in t-shirts, shorts and flip-flops laundry bills fell dramatically, with spending in this sector falling by 14%.

Commenting on the debit card heatwave spending patterns, Christian Pierce, Group Chief Data and Analytics Officer at Bank of Ireland said: “It was a week of sustained hot weather and sunshine of the likes we rarely enjoy in this country, and our debit card spending data analysis reveals that many people adapted their purchasing behaviour accordingly. The explosion of swimming and paddling pool sales may come as no surprise, but it is great to see that popular tourist and family attractions also benefited from the heatwave.”

Anyone living in Ireland knows that the next rain shower is usually never that far away, so the knowledge of knowing we were going to enjoy an unbroken spell of tropical weather made it all the more enjoyable. And the data also shows that spending with travel agents and tour operators rose during the week of the heatwave (+22%), so people are clearly still keen to book foreign travel now that this option has been opened up for many as vaccine passports are issued. While it may have felt like living in a foreign country during the heatwave, we all know that in Ireland these things rarely last for long!”

Bank of Ireland debit card transactions – w/e 25 July 2021 versus w/e 18 July 2021


  • Swimming & Paddling Pools +171%
  • Restaurants +6%
  • Amusement Parks +8%
  • Air conditioning +33%
  • Tourist attractions +10%
  • Car Rentals +23%
  • Laundry -14%
  • Cinemas -19%