Hotel rooms

Shortage of hotel rooms in Dublin leading to high rates, says Irish Hotel Federation

The Irish Hotel Federation (IHF) said there was an imbalance between supply and demand for hotel rooms in Dublin.

Tourism officials addressed a committee of the Oireachtas on Wednesday to defend the high costs of booking a stay in the city.

The IHF said the average daily rate for a hotel room in April this year was €154.31, and that average rate had increased by 16.5% compared to April 2019.

Tim Fenn, chief executive of the IHF, explained this rise in hotel rates by “the spiral of operating costs”.

Mr Fenn said there were “year-on-year increases of 88% in energy, 18% in food and beverage supplies, over 30% in services laundry and 20% in insurance costs”.

Dublin City had the highest occupancy rate in Europe in April 2022, at 83.6%. This figure was 18.3% in 2021.

While hotel rooms are in demand, the IHF said supply is a problem.

The IHF said Dublin has 22,492 hotel rooms and bed and breakfasts registered with Fáilte Ireland, and it estimates that 17.6% of hotel rooms have been taken due to “the business under -dealed with government and rooms out of service due to downsizing, staff housing allowances, supplier issues and refurbishment projects. »

He said supply issues are further compounded by delays in the construction sector due to the pandemic.

Representatives said that for these reasons there are now more nights when occupancy in Dublin exceeds 90% and the last available rooms are being offered at higher than average rates.

In response to the high hotel room rates in the city, Mr Fenn said: “This has given rise to significant levels of media and political commentary and misperceptions regarding the overall value for money in the hotel market. Dublin, which remains competitive with our European peers. .

“What is often lost in this commentary is that the vast majority of rooms currently sold have been contracted and booked well in advance at rates significantly lower than the latest available rates.”

Meanwhile, according to the Irish Confederation of the Tourism Industry (ITIC), tourist arrivals were down 15% in May compared to the same month in 2019.

He said the recovery momentum continues although cost inflation, labor shortages and capacity shortfalls pose challenges for the summer ahead.