Business picks up at the Gibson
ONE of Dublin's newest hotels says that there has been a noticeable pick-up in business in recent months.
Adrian McLaughlin, manager of the Gibson Hotel, said yesterday that he expected to have an average 77pc occupancy rate this year.
The Gibson was built by businessman Harry Crosbie next to his O2 arena and is operated under a contract arrangement by the Choice Hotel group, which is controlled by hotelier Frankie Whelehan. It opened in 2010 and has 250 bedrooms.
Mr McLaughlin said that the Gibson was profitable, but declined to reveal the actual performance. However, he said that turnover at the property was expected to rise this year to over €11m from €10m in 2012.
Turnover last year was 15pc higher than in 2011. He said that visitors remained very sensitive to pricing.
"If you're not offering value, people don't come," he said. "People just walk away from you."
He added that hotels were increasingly required to differentiate themselves from the competition. The hotel is embarking on a number of initiatives in an effort to boost business, including promoting it as a wedding destination.
Mr McLaughlin, who joined the Gibson last year after managing the Merchant Hotel in Belfast, agreed that rates were starting to creep up in the capital.
A recent report from Hotels.com showed that hotel room rates in Ireland are now at their highest level since 2008. It said that in Dublin prices had risen about 8pc in the period to €90 a night.
Mr McLaughlin said that while the Gibson was fully booked this weekend, that's due in part to a Girls Aloud concert on Saturday. He said that the government-promoted 'Gathering' initiative hadn't had any noticeable impact on bookings.