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News : Irish Economy Last Updated: Sep 11, 2013 - 3:41 AM

Irish hotel room rates up 2% in H1 2013
By Finfacts Team
Sep 10, 2013 - 8:34 AM

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Irish hotel room rates continued to show signs of recovery in the first six months of 2013, according to the latest Hotels.com Hotel Price Index (HPI). The average hotel price in Ireland was €92 per night in the first half of the year, an increase of 2% compared to the same period last year. This is the third consecutive year that room rates have risen following steep declines in previous years.

The Hotels.com Hotel Price Index (HPI) is a regular survey of hotel prices in major destinations across the world. Prices are based on bookings made on Hotels.com and prices shown are those actually paid by customers around the world (rather than advertised rates) in the first half of 2013.

Dublin hotel rates rose 2% in the first half of 2013 bringing the average room rate to €93 per night, €1 above the national average.

Looking at the island of Ireland, despite being named the UK capital of Culture for 2013, Derry’s prices dropped 2% to €82 compared to the same period last year and Belfast’s prices were down 4% to €84. The drop in prices in this period can largely be explained due to an improved euro to sterling exchange rate.

Killarney’s prices rose 5% in the first six months of 2013 bringing the average room rate to €107 per night. Hotels.com says that as one of Ireland’s most popular tourist destinations, a rebound in US visitors to Ireland, who tended towards the four-star and five-star hotels in the town, helped to push up the overall average.

Despite a 2% drop in prices in the first six months of the year, Galway’s room rates remained above average at €97 per night. Galway’s prices have always been steady and advanced booking for events such as the Galway Races have helped maintain prices in the city.

Cork saw its prices rise 4% to an average of €86 per night while rates in Sligo stayed flat at €79 on average.

Limerick remained Ireland’s most affordable destination as prices stayed flat at €67 per night. A traditional oversupply of hotel rooms in Limerick has kept prices low.

Hoteliers today rejected as outrageous claims by Hotels.com that the average hotel price in Ireland has increased. They said figures from the Central Statistics Office which are based on a nationally representative sample of prices show that inflation in accommodation services was at 0% for the twelve months to June 2013 and was in fact down at -1.1% for the twelve months to July 2013.
 The figures used for the Hotels.com survey are based on a very limited share of Irish hotels online sales and the sample size is only reflective of accommodation available on the Hotels.com website. It is too small to be representative of the 60,000 hotel and guesthouse rooms available for sale every day in Ireland.
Michael Vaughan, Irish Hotels Federation said: “It is irresponsible and misleading for Hotels.com to give the impression that hotel prices have risen when this is clearly not the case as borne out by the most recent CSO figures which show prices have in fact decreased.”
 “The fact that prices on Hotels.com are higher is in no way reflective of the excellent value that is available in the market. This is nothing other than a cheap shot at publicity on the back of hotels that are doing their best to get their industry back on an even keel.”
 The Irish Hotels Federation also questions the validity of data published in relation to individual towns and counties across the country. Vaughan said that  Hotels.com has limited access to hotel booking information to draw conclusions about accommodation prices other than those bednights sold on its website. He states that there is excellent value on offer by Irish hotels and guesthouses and that people should shop around.

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