Marble city priciest for hotel nights in survey
Two Irish cities less than 30 miles apart are the dearest and cheapest places for a hotel break in Ireland.
Kilkenny topped the list at €123 per night for a hotel room, while Waterford came in cheapest at €50, according to a new survey from online booking service hotels.com.
The marble city has also replaced Killarney as the most expensive hotel destination in Ireland as overnight prices in the popular Co Kerry tourist spot have fallen 16pc.
Overnight rates fell in all destinations in the second quarter of this year, apart from Mayo and Sligo, as over-supply in the market resulted in stiff competition, making Ireland the cheapest location to stay in a hotel in western Europe.
More than 30 hotels have gone bust since the economy ran out of steam and many others have closed voluntarily.
And industry representatives have criticised unfair competition in the market with developer-owned hotels whose loans have been transferred to NAMA under-cutting prices charged by family owned enterprises.
Seamus MacCormaic, marketing manager at hotels.com, said prices had come down because of increased competition in the market.
"Kilkenny is very popular and there is much more demand for rooms there than, for example, Waterford," he added.
The rise in popularity of the "staycation" had helped boost prices in some regions, including Sligo and Mayo, he said.
More recently, Tourism Ireland has been heavily promoting cheap overnight rates here and Mr MacCormaic is expecting to see an increase in summer tourism figures as a result.
The results of the survey also showed that Athlone was the second most expensive city to stay in at €117 per night followed by Wexford, Galway and Killarney.
The cheapest locations after Waterford were Ennis, Clare, Limerick and Dublin, while the average room rate for a hotel here was €79 compared with €82 this time last year.
Globally, hotel rates are stabilising with a small increase of 2pc in the first half of the year.
In Europe, the most expensive location for hotels was Switzerland at €138 a night followed by Russia at €131, while Hungary and Poland were the cheapest countries, the survey showed.