Retail Excellence Ireland (REI) and the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) have released the first-ever report on building retail in both the North and South of Ireland.
The report comes from a detailed analysis over 500 responses from international visitors to Belfast and Dublin, as well as a qualitative survey of 40 retail businesses, north and south of the border.
REI Deputy Chief Executive Seán Murphy commented, "This report provides real insights into why we need to promote the whole of Ireland as a visitor shopping destination. Doing this will grow visitor spend on retail all over the island."
Key findings show that the average visitor to Belfast is spending €358 in the city during their stay. This ranges from €123 for day-trippers up to €3,874 for visitors staying more than two weeks.
Meanwhile, the average international visitor to Dublin spends €606 in the city during their stay, ranging from €224 for visitors on a day trip to €3,020 for those staying over a fortnight.
As for how many tourists travel both North and South, 16% of visitors in Dublin reported visiting Belfast, while 32% of visitors in Belfast had also visited Dublin.
The report calls for the establishment of a North-South Retail Forum to bring together retail groups and ministers and ensure communication on policy, amongst other strategies to promote cross border retail.
Seán Sherlock, Minister of State for Development, Trade Promotion and North-South Co-operation welcomed the release of the research project as, "the first such joint economic survey on an all-island basis."
"It is important that we adopt an all-island approach towards the retail sector, which employs over 300,000 in our towns, cities and villages," he added.
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan