Hotel price data hints at recovery

HOTEL prices in Dublin edged higher in the first half of this year but prices are still a long way from the heights they reached during boom times.

Hotels have been told there is no room for complacency and that they need to be more consumer-focussed than ever before they start to think about not just stabilising but also growing returns to the sector.

Deloitte, the leading business advisory firm, has released the Dublin hotel figures from STR Global for the first half of 2011, which show that, compared to the same period last year, occupancy rates, average daily rates and revenue per available room (RevPAR) have all improved.

Occupancy rates are up 9.9% to 68.8%, while the average daily rate being charged by hotels in the capital has increased by 5.4% to €81.32. Last year, rates fell 12% when compared with 2009.

RevPAR is up by 15.8%, positive news for an industry that has suffered major losses over the last few years.

Partner in charge of tourism, hospitality and leisure services at Deloitte, Kevin Sheehan, said that, despite prices rising, Dublin’s reputation as a “value destination” is being maintained.

Comparing the figures to 2007, when a RevPAR figure of €103 was being achieved, he said it is clear that hoteliers are still some way from earning revenues comparable to those that were achieved at the height of the Celtic Tiger.

“That said, their proposition is now more in line with the price-conscious domestic and global tourist. While it is unlikely that RevPAR will reach these 2007 levels in the foreseeable future, hoteliers are now beginning to claw back some of the losses made over the last number of years,” he said.

Mr Sheehan said the picture is becoming more positive for Dublin hotels as increased stability within the market leads to greater certainty.

“Hotels that have managed to survive the very difficult trading conditions of the last few years may now be beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel,” said Mr Sheehan.

The report says that the “significant events” in the capital over the last quarter, including visits by the British Queen and US president Barack Obama and the UEFA Europa League final have “undoubtedly boosted” occupancy and RevPAR figures.

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