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Thursday 28 August 2014

Galway Races hotel rates could hit €193 a night on Ladies' Day

Trivago index raises prospect of a return to Rip-Off Ireland, but Irish Hotels Federation rubbishes the claim.

Pól Ó Conghaile

Published 16/07/2014 | 09:58

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Yvonne Rice, left, from Ballingarry, Co. Tipperary, and Sue Deering, from Castledermot, Co. Kildare at the Ballybrit venue
Yvonne Rice, left, from Ballingarry, Co. Tipperary, and Sue Deering, from Castledermot, Co. Kildare at the Ballybrit venue

The Galway Races may have divested itself of the infamous Fianna Fáil tent, but a new hotel price index suggests one of the hottest dates on the summer calender could see Celtic Tiger prices return.

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Average hotel prices in Galway are set to rise sharply during the Galway Races, peaking at €193 per room on Ladies’ Day (July 31st), according to the latest Trivago Hotel Price Index.

Averages have risen 17% ahead of the festival (July 28 to August 3), Trivago says, positioning Galway for the highest month-on-month increases across Ireland in July at €128.

This average will further rise to €155 during the Races - up 52% on the previous week.

The least expensive night will be Monday, July 28th, Trivago predicts, at an average of €125.

However, the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) strongly contests the claims.

It states that price claims made by websites such as Trivago do not reflect the value available in Galway during the races. Research is based solely on the prices for rooms found on Trivago, it says, and does not reflect the broad range of rates actually available in the market.

"The vast majority of bednights are booked through other sources, such as directly with the hotel or through the hotel’s own website, through group bookings, and the conference and event market segments," says IHF Chief Executive Tim Fenn.

"The IHF notes that there is current availability for hotel rooms in Galway City at €115 per room on the Monday night (July 28th) and €150 per room on the Friday (August 1st)," Fenn added.

“We recommend that people shop around and not rely on just one source when comparing accommodation prices. People should make sure to check hotels’ own websites where prices are often better and promotional rates may be available.”

Galway isn't the only city facing a potential rates spike during popular events.

Hotel prices have surged 158% in Glasgow as the city prepares to host the Commonwealth Games, Trivago reports, with prices peaking at €561 on Sunday, July 27th, when Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt is expected to compete.

Hotel prices in Dublin have also risen this month, with the average hotel room in the capital on course to cost €139 in July, a year-on-year increase of 24%, according to the hotel search site.

This March a  Hotel Price Index compiled by Hotels.com found Irish hotel rates to have risen 4% to an average of €94 per night in 2014, with Galway slightly above average at €96.

The IHF also strongly rejected those claims, saying the prices were based solely on rooms booked on Hotels.com, and did not reflect the value available in some 60,000 hotel rooms countrywide.

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