Internet searches for Irish hotels double in last year boosted by bargain hunters
INTERNET searches for accommodation in Ireland by British travellers increased by 50pc this summer, according to the website hotels.com.
The leading online travel retailer says that interest in the main five crisis-hit Eurozone countries soared as budget-conscious tourists look for a bargain break.
In the period from June 1 to September 28, searches for hotels in Spain were up 85pc, Portugal up 80pc, Greece up 78pc, Italy up 72pc and Ireland up 50pc on the same period in 2010.
Searches for hotels in Dublin were up 8pc, while the other capital cities saw substantial jumps with searches for Madrid up 67pc, Lisbon 61pc, Rome 41pc and Athens 37pc.
The slower growth in Dublin may be because while the average room rate fell in all the other cities, it actually increased by 7pc in Dublin.
This has been attributed in part to the the high-profile visits of Queen Elizabeth II and Barack Obama in May, as well as the stabilisation of prices which had fallen 35% over the past three years.
According to Alison Couper of Hotels.com, “Hoteliers in some of the affected countries have cut their room rates to attract visitors because demand has slumped as domestic consumers tighten their belts. It could well be that savvy UK travellers are shopping around and targeting those destinations affected by the Euro crisis in the hope of bagging a bargain.”