Irish hotel prices rise as national average now stands at €116
Hotel prices across Ireland have risen for the fifth year in a row - but a surge in the value of sterling means prices in Northern Ireland saw some of the biggest increases.
Nationally, the average room rate paid rose to €116 per night in the first half of 2015. New figures from a survey carried out by Hotels.com say that Irish hotel prices increased by 15pc in the January to June period of this year.
The increase is consistent with Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures which say that Ireland had an increase of 11.7pc in overseas visitors.
According to the CSO figures, 2015 was the best January to June period ever for overseas visitors. A total of 3.9 million arrived in Ireland in the six-month period, up 407,000 on the same period last year.
Speaking about the survey, titled the Hotels Price Index (HPI), vice president of EMEA Marketing at Hotels.com, Liam Walls, said: "The latest figures from the HPI are a really positive sign for hoteliers and all those in the tourism industry in Ireland.
"While globally hotel prices remained relatively flat in the first half of the year, Ireland has seen a 15pc increase in prices which really is testament to how well the market is recovering.
"Last year was a fantastic year for visitors to Ireland and the latest CSO figures show we are on track for another record year."
Dublin was the most expensive destination in the country for travellers according to the HPI. Hotel prices in the capital rose by 19pc on the same period last year. The average hotel price between January and June of this year for a room in Dublin stood at €128 per night.
An increase in air routes and the improved strength of the sterling against the euro has made Dublin a more attractive tourist destination.
Dublin was not the only place to benefit from the increase in overseas travellers. Sligo, Galway and Cork have all seen significant increases in hotel prices for the first half of 2015.
All three counties seem to have benefited from the Wild Atlantic Way tourism initiative, carried out by Tourism Ireland. Sligo saw its hotel prices rise by 18pc to €95 in the first half of the year while hotel prices in Galway and Cork rose by 10pc and 9pc respectively. Hotel prices in Galway were €110 and prices in Cork were €99. While all three experienced increases in prices they are all cheaper than the national average of €116.
Killarney's hotel prices rose by 8pc to €120, passing the national average in the first half of the year.
Belfast and Derry's prices rose in the first half of 2015. Belfast was up by 25pc to an average of €123 per night compared to the same period last year. Derry's prices rose by 14pc to €96 per night on average. This sharp rise can be primarily attributed to the strength of the pound versus euro in the first six months of the year.
Limerick hotel prices were up by 10pc from €74 to €82 while prices in Kilkenny remained near consistent, rising by just 1pc from €99 to €100.
Overall, hotel prices rose by €21 on the national average when compared with last year.
Globally, hotel prices rose just 1pc in the first half of the year. But hotel prices paid in three regions have overtaken their pre-financial crisis levels of 2008, with North America, the Caribbean and Latin America setting new records.
More travellers, higher consumer spending in key areas and currency fluctuations have all contributed to this result.