Crowe Horwath said occupancy rates of up to 80% indicates that Dublin hotels are effectively full and illustrates the severity of the shortage even at this early stage in the economic upswing.
To bring the market back into some sort of balance,But because of the construction industry is in a bad shape there is no evidence the new hotels will be built. It says that planning problems and finding funding for projects are the “key hurdles.”
“The limited availability of rooms in Dublin city is causing a bottleneck that is likely to damage the full potential of Ireland’s economic growth and needs urgent attention,” say the accountants.
Yesterday, Tourism Ireland formally launched its follow on to the Wild Atlantic Way, by saying it will launch ads abroad in the new year for its new programme highlighting “Ireland’s Ancient East”, as well as promoting a campaign around an initiative specifically for the capital, called “Dublin – A Breath of Fresh Air”.
The tourism agency’s chief executive Niall Gibbons, said the 7.9 million visitors coming to the island this year was a record.
It now aimed to attract 8.2 million people next year: “Growth has been recorded from all our markets around the world--with record numbers arriving here from North America, Mainland Europe and Australia and developing markets. Throughout the year, Tourism Ireland undertook a packed programme of promotions, to bring Ireland to the attention of travellers everywhere,” he said.
But Aiden Murphy, partner at Crowe Horwath, a specialist in the hotel and tourism sector, said the occupancy levels means that Dublin hotels are already effectively full. “The limited availability of rooms in Dublin city is likely to damage the full potential of Ireland’s economic growth.
“If Dublin is considered the gateway to Ireland, what happens when there are no rooms to be found,” he said.
The accountants say that the average rate charged for a room in Dublin is €97.25, up 7.2% from €90.73 a year earlier. Room rates have still to match 2006 levels, but are costly compared with prices outside the capital, including €79.36 in Midlands and East; €79.43 in the South west; and €67.50 along the Atlantic seaboard.
“Hotels require active management and have longer planning horizons. Offices are currently more attractive to build and lack of finance is also compounding the issue,” Mr Murphy said.