The owners of Sligo company HenandStagSligo.ie has said that the hen and stag business is booming – leading to increased revenues for Sligo.
Fergal Quinn said bookings for hen and stag parties at his company more than tripled in January compared to the same month last year.
The first two weeks of bookings for the year will bring €1m of business to Sligo.
“As we are taking bookings from across the country for stags and hens just to take place in Sligo, this means that it is a significant boost to the town. We believe these bookings in the first two weeks of January alone will result in €1m of business for Sligo,” said henandstagsligo.ie co-owner, Fergal Quinn.
“If you’re bringing in, let’s say, 200 people each weekend on a package that might cost €150, that’s an immediate spend of €30,000 for Sligo. Normally, they would also end up spending at least another €150 in the town.”
Fergal believes that Sligo has an opportunity to generate even more business in this sector – pointing to the estimated €20 million that hen and stag parties are worth to the local economy in Carrick-on-Shannon each year.
“We have huge support from a lot of other business owners around Sligo, with many hotels and activity providers saying we are one of their key growth drivers. Many mention that they have received repeat business from hens and stags choosing to return to Sligo as leisure visitors.”
The company booked 1,000 people on hen and stag parties in January 2016 – but, last month, that figure increased to 3,000 people in the first two weeks alone.
“This is a massive increase for us and shows that people are willing to once more commit to spending on events such as hens and stags,”
Fergal believes the increase in business is a sign of economic growth across the country.
“Hens and stags used to be more price conscious but that is changing now also and parties are spending more on activities and beauty treatments as well as looking for higher-grade hotels,” added Fergal. “Hen and stag parties have changed in recent years as the age profile is generally older and people are looking for activities to do during their stay.”
Brothers Fergal and Kevin Quinn also manage a number of other businesses in Sligo town, including the Embassy Steakhouse Restaurant, three pubs, a nightclub and a snooker club.
February marks the unofficial start of the hen and stag season in Ireland, as it has been a long tradition for couples to get engaged on Valentine’s Day.
“Things really start to ramp up in February as people are now booking for their parties for June, July and August – which are the busiest months for hens and stags,” said Fergal.
“Most people book around at least two months in advance – but many people book a year in advance, with some really organised people even booking a year and a half ahead.”