Business Irish

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Five-star performance as our hotels lead global recovery

Patrick Edwards

Published 03/09/2014 | 02:30

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How much do you pay for a hotel these days?

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Hotels.com, a global website that lists many but by no means all hotels in Ireland, said earlier this week that the average price per night in Ireland is now running at €101 - or 10pc more than it was last year. Dublin hotel prices rose 15pc in the first half of 2014 to an average of €107.

The Irish Hotels Federation disputes the figures and questions the methodology but it in the absence of definitive figures, Hotel.com's statistics are worth considering.

The website reckons that Killarney is the destination where visitors paid the most, shelling out €111, while Limerick is Ireland's most affordable destination at €74 per night. Cork, Galway, Kilkenny and Sligo all saw prices recover in the first half of the year

The company says the key factors behind the gains are the continued recovery of Irish hotel prices - including increased visitor numbers, additional air routes and events based tourism.

The increases here in Ireland were bigger than elsewhere in the world. The average price paid for a hotel room around the world rose by 4pc during the first six months of 2014, when compared with the same period in 2013, as the overall economic recovery gathered greater momentum and consumers became more confident in raising their travel spending.

Hotel prices are now close to the all-time record set in the first half of 2007.

"There was a promising start to the year for the travel industry in general as demand for both international tourism and business travel remained strong," says Johan Svanstrom, president of the Hotels.com brand. "Consequently, we saw the highest rate of increase since early 2012 and, for the first time, we have two regions whose regional indices have overtaken their pre-economic crisis levels."

Latin America and the Caribbean both achieved record results over this period. The Caribbean had the fastest rise of any region, jumping 6pc. Latin America continued the progress seen in 2013 and also reached its all-time half-yearly high.

Two regions reported 5pc growth: firstly, for Europe and Middle East, this was the sharpest increase in the region in six years.

Secondly, North America was boosted by results from the US which posted the best hotel occupancy levels of the century in June, according to Smith Travel Research.

For Asia and the Pacific, the Index saw no movement either up or down. Asia, in particular, continued to offer excellent value for travellers, while prices paid by inbound visitors to Australia were eased by the weaker Australian Dollar.

"As well as the general economic recovery, there were three other stand-out reasons behind most of the price moves. Currency fluctuations played a major role in determining whether prices paid when travelling abroad either rose or fell for many travellers," Mr Svanstrom said.

Irish Independent

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