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Dublin hotel rates 'medium-priced' but lack of capacity is threat


Dublin remains a "medium-priced city destination" by European standards, according to Fáilte Ireland.

The average daily rates for hotel rooms in Dublin are lower than in top European cities such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, Copenhagen, London, and Paris, the 'Analysis of Tourist Accommodation in Dublin 2018-20' report found.

In 2017, average daily rates for the capital city were €125, while average daily rates in Barcelona were just over €150, according to hotel data and benchmarking group STR Global.

Dublin also reported significantly higher occupancy rates relative to competitor cities in Europe, with the city reporting an average rate of 83pc occupancy last year.

The low vacancy levels in Dublin are, according to Fáilte Ireland, backing up anecdotal evidence around the lack of availability of accommodation at peak periods for the volume of visitors that might seek it. The national tourism development authority also cited reports from tour operators of incidents where they were unable to find necessary available accommodation for some of their needs in the capital.

In addition, Fáilte Ireland said that event and conference organisers are felt by some in the industry to be wary of Dublin, fearing room shortages.

"The absence of a single 'big box' hotel in the city centre, for example one with 800 rooms or more, capable of accommodating all delegates for large conferences is also noted as a constraint in this regard," the report said.

Overall a shortfall of 1,100 hotel rooms is expected in Dublin by 2020.

Despite an estimated 5,430 hotel rooms to come on-stream between now and 2020, demand from tourists is expected to outstrip the supply of hotel accommodation.

"Dublin is the gateway to Ireland with most visitors choosing to spend part of their stay in the city. Therefore, if visitors cannot access Dublin, it is highly likely they may not visit the country at all," said Fáilte Ireland CEO Paul Kelly.

"That is why capacity in Dublin is not just an issue for the city but affects all who work in tourism - whether in Kerry, Louth, Waterford, Donegal or any point in-between."

Of the 5,430 hotel rooms coming on stream over the next two years, more than 3,000 are already under construction, representing, by Fáilte Ireland's estimates, private sector investment in Dublin of €815m.

Two out of three of the additional hotel rooms are expected to be in new hotels, more than 40pc of which will be located in the areas of Dublin 2 and Dublin 4.

Overall, in the first three months of 2018, the total number of overseas trips to Ireland was 7pc higher than the same period in 2017, indicating a strong start to the year for one of Ireland's largest indigenous industries. Growth in visitors from the US and mainland Europe was particularly strong, however, while slightly up in absolute terms, the British share of the market continued to fall.

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The aim of the initial report, carried out by consultants Fitzpatrick Associates for Fáilte Ireland, is to identify the scale of additional tourist accommodation stock required to meet anticipated levels of demand, and develop solutions to address the challenges.

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