Majority of hotels aim to spend on back of bumper year
NINE out of ten hotels and guesthouses reported increases in business levels this year while over 60pc have taken on new staff over the last 12 months.
According to new figures from the Irish Hotels Federation's (IHF) Hotel Barometer, hoteliers also reported an increase in overseas visitors as they anticipate a strong 2016.
The president of the IHF, Stephen McNally, said 2015 was a very good year for the industry and expects similar growth for the coming year.
"Irish tourism has performed strongly throughout the year and we're now approaching a record-breaking eight million overseas visitors for 2015," Mr McNally said.
"Next year looks set to deliver further growth across our key markets such as Britain, North America and Europe - providing a further boost to hotels and guesthouses."
In November, Tourism Ireland said that it is aiming for another record year in 2016 with 8.2 million visitors expected, which would roughly represent a 4pc increase in visitors.
The barometer also showed that 92pc of hoteliers are planning to invest in their business via refurbishment and product development over the next year.
Mr McNally says that Ireland's tourism incentives still hold significant appeal to both local and overseas visitors.
"We continue to make significant strides in developing our tourism product and in giving holidaymakers new and compelling reasons to visit," Mr McNally said.
"Examples include the recently launched Ireland's Ancient East trail and of course the Wild Atlantic Way, which is proving to be an enormous draw," he added.
Putting the figures in contrast Britain saw its overall visitor numbers increase by 11pc while North America also reported an increase of 13pc.
However, Ireland has a much higher percentage of hotels reporting an increase in business than the two previously mentioned markets.
While over 85pc of hotels on the Island of Ireland reported an increase, 82pc of those in Britain reported an increase with only 58pc of premises benefiting in North America.
The IHF is also projecting that the tourism industry is on track to create some 40,000 new jobs by 2020, adding to the 205,000 jobs it currently supports.