Duty free shopping is making a big impact as it proves popular with passengers once again on routes between Ireland and Wales. Early sales figures show the huge potential it has to help the travel sector bounce back after the pandemic.
Nowhere has the boost from duty free become more apparent than at Stena Line, where spend per passenger in its onboard shops saw a fourfold increase in August, on routes where passengers can now enjoy tax free shopping.
With duty-free shopping back onboard it has meant lucky passengers can now access large discounts of up to 50% off on a wide range of items such as whiskeys, vodkas, gins, wines, beers and champagnes. With famous brands like Jameson, Grey Goose, Bombay Sapphire, Hendricks, Budweiser, and Bollinger, all available at a fraction of onshore prices.
The removal of COVID-19 travel restrictions by Ireland meant that August was the first month where full tourist and non-essential travel with Britain was permitted. The response was instant, with high demand for sailings from people desperate to travel after so long in lockdown and keen to make the most of what was left of summer.
The demand for duty free was equally high, resulting in the spend per passenger in Stena Line’s onboard shops more than quadrupling compared to pre-pandemic levels in August 2019.
Paul Grant, Stena Line’s Irish Sea Trade Director commented: “Like most travel businesses we have experienced a very difficult time over the last 18 months, but now as our passengers start to return in large numbers, we are delighted to be in a position to offer them the added benefit of duty-free shopping on our ships for the first time in over 20 years.
“Our expanded onboard shops now offer a great range of items from spirits to jewellery, fragrances to electrics, some at over 50% cheaper than high street prices.”
Duty free shopping is now available to any passengers on Stena Line’s services between Holyhead – Dublin and Fishguard – Rosslare, where the company’s large, modern vessels have newly refitted and expanded shops.
The company has also reintroduced its famous low-cost duty free return trips, known as ‘non-landers’, where people take return trips across the Irish Sea, without leaving the ferry, just to access the bargains now on offer.