Hotel and industry bodies have urged domestic holidaymakers to "shop around and not rely on one source", following mounting criticism online of eye-popping prices for family holidays in the likes of Kerry or Galway.Social media users have reacted with fury at "ripoff" prices, highlighting a week's stay in the West or Southwest between €2,000 and €3,000 in some hotels on popular hotel stay aggregating websites such as Booking.com or Trivago.ie.
As of today, a routine search of properties in Killarney on a number of websites by the Irish Examiner found some hotels charging up to €4,500 for the third or fourth week in July.
Such offers include two rooms to accommodate two adults and two younger children, instead of just one - a reason for shopping direct with a hotel, instead of relying on aggregating websites, hotel chiefs said.
In contrast to Irish so-called 'staycations', a family of four could theoretically go to Spain, Greece or even Lake Garda in Italy for far less than €2,000.
A routine search regarding Lake Garda during the third week in July found four-star luxury properties with flights included coming in well below €2,000, and still within the €2,000-mark in the last week of July.
With quarantining-lifting measures looking increasingly precarious this summer, Irish holidaymakers want to support the indigenous industry, but pricing is making many think twice, commentary on social media channels has suggested.
However, Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) chief executive Tim Fenn urged holidaymakers to shop around, saying there were much better deals to be had than those on aggregate sites.
Irish hotels offer one of the highest standards of service and quality of accommodation in Europe and represent good value compared to other comparable overseas destinations, he insisted.
"Our sector offering includes a wide variety of hotels with an extensive range of on-site facilities, services and packages to suit every taste and budget.
"We encourage those planning a staycation to shop around and not to rely on just one source when comparing accommodation prices. Great value can be had by making direct contact with hotels to find out what specials may be available.
"When comparing properties, we would also encourage people to check what each price covers - from number of rooms to inclusive facilities - to ensure that they are comparing like-with-like and choose the most suitable option for them."
He said there is "great availability and opportunities" for a staycation this summer.
"It is really encouraging to see an increase in interest for staycations. Not surprisingly, we are seeing stronger demand in coastal areas, popular tourism destinations and hotels offering packages and facilities for families. We encourage people to consider all destinations across the country and to make direct contact with the hotels to ensure that they get the most suitable and best available package for their staycation," he added.