Killarney hotels rooms ‘most expensive’

Survey shows average room rate stands at €107 compared to €67 in Limerick

The Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

The Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Tue, Sep 10, 2013, 16:27

The most expensive hotel rooms in the Republic in the first six months of the year were to be found in Killarney where the average room rate stood at €107 while the cheapest rooms were in Limerick where travellers paid an average of just €67 per night, a survey published today indicates.

Room rates across the island recovered slightly until the end of June according to the latest hotel price index which put the average hotel price in Ireland at €92 per night - up 2 per cent compared with the same period last year. It is the third year in a row that room rates have risen following steep declines in previous years.

According to the hotel booking website, the modest price increase can be attributed to a number of events happening in the country this year including the Gathering which has been heavily promoted by Tourism Ireland.

Advanced bookings for concerts such as the Bruce Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball tour which took place in four cities around Ireland in July also increased demand.

Killarney’s price increase of 5 per cent was put down to a rebound in US visitors to Ireland with most in that demographic staying in the four-star and five-star hotels in the town which pushed up the average.

The cost of a room in Dublin climbed 2 per cent to stand at €93. As well as hosting the EU Presidency in the first half of the year, the capital benefited from the return of the conferencing and events sector which helped increase demand and boost occupancy, the booking website said.

Galway saw a 2 per cent drop in prices in the first six months of the year but its rates remained above average at €97 per night. Over the first six months of the year Cork fared better than most locations witnessing a jump of 4 per cent to €86 per night.

A group representing some hoteliers described the survey as “outrageous” and claimed that the figures used were based on “a very limited share of Irish hotels online sales”.

The Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) claimed that the survey results conflicted with figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) which suggests that prices are largely static across the sector. “It is irresponsible and misleading for 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,” said the IHF’s Michael Vaughan.

He described the survey as “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.”