Monday 21 May 2018

'Opportunist' pricing by hotels is 'damaging' the capital

Warning: Peter McKenna. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Warning: Peter McKenna. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

The shortage of hotels in Dublin, combined with "opportunist pricing", is damaging the city at a time when it should be exploiting the local and international upswing.

That's according to GAA Stadium director Peter McKenna who also fears the problem will persist for another few years.

Mr McKenna also said that Dublin is becoming expensive once more for international visitors.

"The continued hotel shortage in Dublin, both in terms of rate and availability, is negatively impacting on our city's competitiveness.

"This is a concern for international business, which represents 15pc of our total conference income in Croke Park, as Dublin is becoming expensive again," said Mr McKenna.

He predicts there will be no improvement for several years until new hotels are completed.

"It will resolve itself eventually once the market delivers new hotels," Mr McKenna said.

"However, in the short term you get opportunist pricing by hotels.

"Getting delegates to conferences in Croke Park or anywhere else is only part of the challenge.

"Air fares are stable but hotel prices in Dublin fluctuate far too wildly.

"If it weren't for Airbnb, the place would come to a stop."

Income

Income at Croke Park stadium totalled €27m last year. Corporate facilities returned €12.7m.

Mr McKenna revealed the GAA had purchased 50 acres in the Naul in north Dublin for use as a pitch farm.

It will be used to provide new surfaces on the Croke Park pitch when it needs to be re-sodded.

The new sod is expected to come on stream in 2019. The possibility of exporting overseas to increase revenue for the association will also be explored.

The GAA's Central Council announced income for 2017 was €65.6m, an increase of €5m.

Irish Independent

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