Friday 24 May 2019

Dublin needs 2,000 more hotel rooms to cope with boom

Dublin is likely to need taller hotels according to a recent survey
Dublin is likely to need taller hotels according to a recent survey

Fearghal O'Connor

Dublin needs 2,000 more hotel rooms on top of the 4,000 that are currently under construction, according to a key industry analyst.

There was also likely to be a push for taller hotels as major international brands look to establish themselves in the booming Dublin market, said Aiden Murphy of consultants Crowe - who carries out an influential annual hotel industry survey.

"Dublin is very attractive and very much on the minds of international operators," Murphy told the Sunday Independent. "Cork and Galway are starting to follow and are getting good improvements in hotel occupancy and room rates. There is a need in those cities for hundreds of rooms rather than the thousands that are needed in Dublin."

"Occupancy in Dublin is at 84pc - the highest of any European capital. We can see another 2,000 rooms on top of what is planned and still maintain occupancy over 80pc," he said.

Murphy said that his detailed annual survey of turnover and profitability in the industry - due to be published later this summer - would show that profitability was up "across the board" in Dublin hotels during 2018.

Dublin currently has approximately 19,000 hotel rooms but Irish brands such as Dalata are growing strongly and big international outfits such as including Marriott's Aloft, Moxy, Hilton's Hampton Inn and Hyatt's new Centric hotel have entered the market.

Murphy said there was a sense in the market that the Competition Authority might not want to see a particular group control too many of the city's hotel rooms in order to ensure that price was not dictated.

"Therefore it has been easier for a company like Dalata to expand and build rather than to acquire existing hotels," he said.

"We are also seeing a focus on higher densities for hotels. With smaller hotel rooms and more compact site requirements, hotels lend themselves to taller buildings. There is a move to develop more eight- to 10-storey hotels and planners are more open to hotels instead of offices."

Developer Johnny Ronan's Tara Street tower - which recently won approval from the planners - will incorporate both a hotel and offices and Murphy said that Dublin could see more of this type of split development.

"Demand for hotel rooms in Dublin has been growing strongly and it is expected to continue to grow strongly for the next four to five years."

Sunday Indo Business

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