Autumn lull in ‘staycations’ drives hotel occupancy rates down 60%

Industry figures show Irish hotels are faring slightly worse than their European peers

The post-summer lull in “staycations” and the State’s Covid-19 public health restrictions forced occupancy rates at Irish hotels down almost 60 per cent in September compared to the same month a year ago, industry figures show.

Data from STR, which provides market data on the hotel industry worldwide, shows each of the three key performance metrics were down from August, but came in higher than most of the other pandemic-affected months.

Revenue per available room (RevPar) – a metric which assesses a hotel’s ability to fill its available rooms at an average rate – was down 70.7 per cent to just €38.

The average daily rate (ADR) was down 29.5 per cent to €102.59, while occupancy was at 37 per cent, which represented a reduction of 58.4 per cent.


Irish hotels performed slightly worse than the European average, according to the data, which themselves reported slight performance decreases from the prior month, reflecting a post-summer lag in demand.

Occupancy was 38.9 per cent (down 51.7 per cent), while the ADR was €90.78 (down 27.2 per cent) and RevPar was €35.31 (down 64.8 per cent).

The occupancy level was the lowest for any September on record in Europe. When looking at the most recent weekly data through October 17th, occupancy had retreated further to 32.7 per cent amid new Covid-19 lockdowns around the continent.


In Poland each of the three key performance metrics were down from August. ADR was the lowest in Poland since May, while occupancy was down more than 52 per cent to 37.7 per cent.

Recent research by the Irish Hotels Federation suggested bookings are at an "all-time low" following the upgrading of the State's anti-virus response under which people are asked to restrict their movements.

A survey of its members suggested a further collapse in reservations over coming months, with hotels in some parts of the country averaging occupancy rates in the single digits percentage-wise.

Hotels across the Republic are predicting steep slides in occupancy for November and December, according to the federation’s numbers.

The national occupancy rate for December – traditionally a busy time for hotels with seasonal functions – is predicted to be just 10 per cent. Dublin hotels predict occupancy of just 8 per cent that month, with midlands and other eastern regions also in single figures.

The federation estimated that overall the sector will be down 3.3 million bed nights between October and December compared to the same period last year.

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter