Irish hotels cheapest in western Europe

 

IRELAND’S HOTEL room prices were the lowest in western Europe last year following a 21 per cent fall in prices, according to a new hotel price survey.

The Hotels.com price index found the average price for an Irish hotel room last year was €80, compared with €101 in 2008. This was the steepest fall in hotel prices by any western European state for this period.

Ireland’s hotel rooms were the fourth cheapest in Europe last year after the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. Overall, European prices were down 13 per cent on average, while global prices fell by 14 per cent.

Dublin hotel prices fell by 23 per cent, making it one of the least expensive capital cities.

The Hotels.com index tracks the real prices paid per hotel room rather than the advertised rates. It is based on prices paid by its customers for 94,000 hotels across 16,000 world locations. Most, but not all, room prices exclude breakfast. The survey includes hotels from two to five-star quality.

Dublin hotel room prices averaged €76 last year, down from €98 in 2008. This compared with €113 for Paris, €112 for London and €105 for Rome.

Of the Irish cities and towns surveyed, Killarney was the most expensive with an average room price of €106. This was more expensive than hotel rooms in Barcelona, Munich and Madrid.

Waterford was ranked as the least expensive city in Ireland, with an average room price of €61 last year.

Prices in Cork and Limerick fell steeply last year. Cork hotel room prices were down almost a third year-on-year to €77 from €111, while in Limerick prices fell 17 per cent to €63.

Séamus MacCormaic, marketing management director at Hotels.com, said the slide in Irish hotel room prices had continued in the early months of this year.

“The environment is obviously extremely challenging, but the outlook for this year is not quite as extreme as it was for 2009.”

He said Irish hotel rooms were one third cheaper than they had been 18 months ago.

Mr MacCormaic said the work of the National Asset Management Agency (Nama) could remove some hotels from the sector in the coming year, and sterling fluctuations could make Ireland a more attractive destination for British travellers.

The index found that Monte Carlo was the world’s most expensive city for travellers last year, with a hotel room averaging €177 per night. Abu Dhabi had an average room price of €164, while Geneva came in at €163.

Moscow and New York completed the list of the top five most expensive cities to stay a night in last year. Rio de Janeiro was the only city in the 10 most expensive cities to show a price rise. Its average price rose by 12 per cent to €137 last year.

David Roche, president of Hotels.com Worldwide, said the latest index brought prices back to levels not seen since 2003.

“Despite some possible first signs of hotel prices recovering in Europe and the US in the last quarter of 2009, the promotions and great value look set to continue for some time yet.”