Over half of hotels report rise in business since 2011
MORE than half of Irish hoteliers have seen a boost in business compared with this time last year.
However, the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) said city properties are faring better than those in rural areas as they cash in on event tourism.
On a national basis, 55pc of hotels have experienced a rise in business. But IHF chief executive Tim Fenn said performance in the sector has been "patchy at best" and not all areas are seeing growth.
"We're now expecting business levels to be flat in many parts of the country, which is severely disappointing given the very low visitor base we're working off at 30pc less than the peak in 2007," said Mr Fenn.
Mr Fenn said areas outside the usual city tourist traps should use them as an example and find their own ways to attract more visitors.
"The challenge for the rest of the country is to ensure we continue to invest in our regional tourism product, building on successes such as the Greenway cycleway in Mayo and accelerating the rollout of the Wild Atlantic Way touring route," he added.
The IHF said the Government's decision to retain its relatively low 9pc tourism VAT rate has helped the industry.