Irish Daily Mirror

Greed and gouging in tourism sector is now just the norm


I WAS amused to hear about the geezer who paid €10.50 for a bottle of cider with a meal while holidaying in the west of Ireland.

He asked for his usual pint bottle of Bulmers and when they said they were sold out he told them to bring him a bottle of whatever other cider they had.

It was only when he got the bill that he discovered he’d been served a bottle of pricier sparkling craft cider.

No offence mister but if you holiday in Ireland that’s what we’ve come to expect in a land where the tourism sector, and many others, view visitors in much the same way as wolves see sheep.

I understand the anger felt by the disgruntle­d holiday goer who complained to Joe Duffy’s Liveline over the price of a bottle of cider, but I have little sympathy.

Anyone who embarks on a so-called staycation in Ireland should realise that there is every chance that, like sheep, they will be fleeced by a sector which appears hellbent on committing financial harakiri in the long term.

It is only when you go abroad that you realise the extent to which the public are being screwed in this country, especially when they go on holiday.

While the unfortunat­e above holidaymak­er paid €10.50 for a 500ml bottle of cider, on a recent trip to Fuertevent­ura I paid less than tenner for a lunch consisting of a fish fillet and salad along with a pint of Carlsberg.

Indeed social media users are now only familiar with posts of receipts from bars around the country, especially in Dublin, where drinkers are being charged up to €7 for a pint of Guinness and over €4 for a soft drink. A pint of beer in Spain is less than €3 in most pubs while eating out costs a fraction of what it would set you back here.

That’s not to say some restaurant­s and bars here do not make an effort to keep prices down but the public should not have to hunt high and low for an establishm­ent that won’t try to fleece them.

But the days when you could bring your family on a cheap holiday by the seaside in Ireland – and endure the weather misery that often goes with it – are well and truly gone.

Hotels have priced themselves out of the market, charging as much as a package holiday in Spain for a couple of nights stay while even dingy bed and breakfast joints have jumped on the bandwagon and are now charging over €100 a night.

But there is one area of the Irish travel industry that has excelled as the country’s car hire prices rose more than anywhere else in the world this year, up by 267% in the space of 12 months.

A survey by car hire group Discoverca­, showed that Ireland’s average hire price increased from €49 in June 2021 to €182 in June 2022.

This extortion on wheels was highlighte­d recently when it emerged that an American couple were quoted €50,000 to rent a van for nine days in June.

Renting a helicopter complete with pilot and crew was deemed to be cheaper at the time.

On the other hand the same study found the average daily rate for renting a car on the Canary Islands is just

€29, an increase of just 2% year-onyear. And this time we can’t blame the Government even if excise duty and other taxes on drink and fuel are exorbitant – this is the private sector plundering its own industry.

It’s purely down to greed and gouging on the part of the tourism sector which has decided to make up for the losses sustained during the pandemic in one season and in doing so damaging the long-term viability of the industry.

Even Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe recently warned excessive overchargi­ng will come back to haunt businesses as consumers will “vote with their feet”.

Already there is evidence internatio­nal tourists are beginning to avoid Ireland. As for local people, nearly everyone who has opted for a staycation has their own horror story about the great Irish rip-off.

And while we all have to endure living in a country that is a quasi-cartel when it comes to spiralling price rises, we can actually choose where we go on holiday.

Next year for many it will be a case of packing the sun cream and heading for the airport rather than staying in Ireland and getting burned again.

Excess overchargi­ng will come back to haunt businesses

 ?? ?? DATES U2 frontman Bono and band will play Sin City
DATES U2 frontman Bono and band will play Sin City

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland