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Sunday 3 December 2023 Dublin: 4°C
Leah Farrell/ A red-brick building on George’s street which has been bought to make into a hotel. The number of hotels across Dublin has become a target of criticism from housing activists.
Fáilte Ireland

Dublin 'desperately needs' more hotels, says tourism body chief

The CEO of Fáilte Ireland also warned that Brexit was proving a challenge to Irish tourism.

FÁILTE IRELAND HAS said that Dublin “desperately needs” more hotels to sustain Ireland’s tourism industry. 

CEO of Fáilte Ireland, Paul Kelly, was speaking as industry staff gathered in Croke Park to launch the organisation’s tourism plans for 2020. 

Dublin, he said, “desperately needs” an increase in hotels, calling the city a “gateway to Ireland”

“When we project that over the next three to four years, we believe we’re still going to be about a thousand rooms short of what’s required,” Kelly said. 

“There is no shortage of space for development in Dublin,” he said.

The tourism industry wants to see the number of houses “increase and improve” but “there are sites that are more appropriate for hotels than housing”, Kelly added. 

The rapid increase in the number of hotels across the city have become a target for criticism as Dublin’s housing stock remains low and the homelessness crisis continues. 

Kelly said that Ireland is losing out on tens of millions of euro in revenue due to the lack of hotels for conferences and events. 


The tourism body also warned that the coming year will prove “challenging” for tourism in Ireland. 

With 2019 a “mixed year”, with visitor numbers remaining largely flat, businesses are facing a difficult few months ahead due to the uncertainty caused by Brexit. 

Fáilte Ireland is hoping that a new €6 million domestic and Northern Ireland marketing campaign, as well as the opening of 25 new attractions across the country, will combat any industry-wide slowdown. 

“Business sentiment is down, fuelled by rising costs and low-priced competition in the sector. More than half of tourism businesses around the country have seen a decline in business from Britain and Northern Ireland,” Kelly said. 

Fáilte Ireland projections for 2020 predict only a small increase in overseas visitors to Ireland, with hopes that the figure could rise to over 9,700 in 2020 – only a marginal increase from 2019. 

The organisation also warned that both the south-east and the border counties had been impacted most by Brexit. A weaker pound has made visiting Ireland a lot more expensive for UK tourists. 

“Rural Ireland gets impacted more than Dublin city,” Niall Tracey, the Director of Marketing at Fáilte Ireland, said. 

With fewer Northern Irish visitors travelling across the border, some businesses in the region have already felt the brunt of Brexit, while port connections in the south of the country have also taken a hit.

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, will address the event today. 

He praised the organisation’s plans to respond to the challenge of Brexit. “I am confident the plans and initiatives will provide an assurance to the sector that where growth opportunities exist, they will be exploited,” Ross said. 

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