Chinese named top spenders on Irish hotel rooms
Hotel Price Index
Visitors from China were the highest spenders on hotel rooms in Ireland over the first six months of the year, according to a leading online accommodation website.
Hotels.com, which tracks the average price paid for hotel rooms, found visitors from China spent an average of €161 per room per night in Ireland.
Indian visitors spent an average of €143 per night, followed by US and Mexican visitors at €137, and travellers from Singapore at €133 per night.
The Chinese spend was up 27pc over the same period in 2014, with increased visitor numbers and currency fluctuations contributing to the rise, Hotels.com says.
Chinese travellers are growing rapidly as a tourism source market, and Tourism Ireland now has offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Chengdu.
It aims to grow Chinese visits to Ireland to 50,000 annually by 2017, with direct flights to Beijing or Shanghai viewed as a major priority.
In another recent development, China Southern Airlines - the world's third-largest airline - has announced a Dublin office within its general sales agents, APG Ireland, as trade between the two countries grows.
The UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organisation) estimates that outbound travellers from China will reach 200 million by 2020.
The remainder of the Top 10 spenders in Ireland include Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, Japan and Finland, with guests spending between €122 and €132 per night on hotel rooms, according to the index.
"As well as taking into account currency fluctuations, long haul visitors tend to favour hotel accommodation with a higher star rating as they are staying for longer,” said Carolina Annand, a spokesperson for the Hotels.com brand.
This story has been updated.