Level of growth in hotel sector at lowest point in seven years

Level of growth in hotel sector at lowest point in seven years

The level of growth in the hotel sector is at its lowest point in seven years.

According to a new report by accountancy firm Crowe, the hotel industry recorded an 8th consecutive year of growth in turn-over in 2018.

But the level of growth, at 7%, was down 4.5% on the previous year.

The report highlights a weakened sterling and Brexit uncertainty as being some of the main issues behind the declining revenue growth.

Since 2013, it says the market share of hotel guests from Northern Ireland and the UK dropped by 25%, with that only balanced by a surge in demand from US visitors.

Author of the report, Aiden Murphy, says increased costs are also having an effect on hotels bottom lines.

"In 2018 there were three cost headings that hoteliers were concerned about: one begin payroll, two being utilities - which would be your electricity and gas - and three being insurance," said Mr Murphy.

"For those three cost headings, those costs increased at a faster pace then underlying revenue growth, and therefore they are a worry for the years ahead."

The report also highlights the importance of the Irish guests to hotels here, with over half of all hotel guests last year coming from the domestic market.

It also shows strong demand in the midlands and east of the country last year meant the average cost of a room in a hotel rose above €100 for the first time.

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