The shortage of hotels in Dublin should be eliminated by 2020 and prices become more competitive if tourism numbers slow down, according to a report by Fitzpatrick Associates for Fáilte Ireland.
The tourism authority says that 5,382 Dublin hotel rooms are in the pipeline between now and 2020 – 3,444 new rooms in new hotels and a further 1,938 in existing hotel extensions.
The location of these new hotels will be primarily in Dublin 1, 2, 4 and 8 and in and around Dublin Airport, where more than 1,000 rooms will be added in new hotels and extensions to existing properties. On the airport campus, the Dublin Airport Authority has planning permission for a new 402-bedroom hotel between T2 and the car park.
The project was tendered earlier in the year under a Finance, Build, Operate and Transfer model (FBOT). However, the remaining bidder has withdrawn. According to a DAA spokesman, “We remain committed to developing a new hotel on this site and will be evaluating our options in relations to moving the project forward.”
The airport’s Radisson Blu Hotel, meanwhile, is planning a six-storey extension, and planning permission has been granted for a seven-storey hotel in the front car park at the Radisson Blu. The Clayton Hotel will add 140 rooms. Plans have been submitted for a 427-bed, 10-storey hotel at Stockhole Lane, Clonshaugh, while a 100-room extension to the Carlton Hotel is in preplanning.
The report continues to see a shortfall in visitor accommodation in Dublin in the years 2017 and 2018, followed by a move into surplus in 2020.
Hotels on site in Dublin this year include Bow Lane off Aungier Street, the Clayton on the site of the former Charlemont clinic, the Devlin in Ranelagh, Gardiner Row, and Harcourt Street at Pinewood House. Dublin 8 will have two hotels on site: Aloft Blackpitts and the Maldron New Street/Kevin Street.
Development of new hotels will be a mixture of international brands such as Hilton Garden Inn, Aloft (a brand of Starwood Hotels), Premier Inn and local brands from Ireland’s biggest hoteliers: Dalata’s, Maldron and Clayton.
Fáilte Ireland has made a number of moves over the supply problem. “The first way we responded was to look at the regulations,” said head of research Caeman Wall. “After asking our customers, we lowered the square footage for rooms, and that helps density for developments.
“Objections to planning permission are often one-sided,” he added, “and we began more active conversations with Dublin City Council. We also have an active demand management plan, such as doing festivals in low season and channelling demand outside the city.
“Dublin occupancy is 82 per cent and you can call that full.”
Arrivals on the upswing
Passenger numbers at Dublin Airport are expected to exceed almost 28 million last year. The development of the airport as a hub for international traffic will see Aer Lingus operating 2.7 million transatlantic seats this year. Ryanair’s traffic and routes continue to grow despite a fall off by British visitors.
Strong support from Middle East carriers Emirates, Etihad and Turkish keeps the traffic flowing and news that Cathay Pacific is beginning operations next June from Hong Kong will bring more passengers to Dublin.