Hoteliers reject claim prices up by 10%

The Irish Hotels Federation yesterday rejected the findings of a study on the sector which claimed prices increased by 10% in the first six months of the year.

The federation dismissed the findings of a report compiled by booking site Hotels.com, saying its authors’ figures were based on a minor share of the market and are at odds with data from the CSO. The report claimed that the average cost of a hotel room breached the €100-mark in the first six months of the year, with Killarney the country’s most expensive destination at €111.

Federation president Stephen McNally dismissed the figures, however, saying: “Less than one out of every 10 room nights booked in Ireland is sold through this booking site.

“The vast majority are sold through other sources including directly with the hotel; over the phone; or through the hotel’s own website.

“Hotels.com does not typically capture other categories of booking such as the key tour, conference, and event market segments”.

The 10% price increase reported by Hotels.com is almost three times greater than the CSO’s figure of 3.5%, according to the federation .

Hotels.com’s Hotel Price Index claimed that prices nationwide jumped 10% to an average of €101 while visitors to Killarney forked out the most cash, despite the town’s prices rising by less than half the national average.

A number of key factors contributed to the recovery of hotel prices, according to the report, including a number of major events and the opening of additional air routes — both of which attracted a greater number of visitors.

Lizann Peppard of Hotels.com said the recovery of hotel prices was expected to continue in the coming months as events like last weekend’s Croke Park Classic American Football match result in strong demand.

“This year so far has been exceptionally strong with tourism numbers rising rapidly.

“We expect this upward trend to continue into the latter half of the year especially with increased tourism from the US and China thanks to new air routes.

“In addition to this, a number of key events taking place in the second half of the year such as the Croke Park Classic, several GAA matches, and ongoing visitors to the Wild Atlantic Way continue to drive demand for hotel rooms around the country,” said Ms Peppard.

The federation recommended that consumers shop around and check hotels’ websites to find the best prices.

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