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Events and festivals "boost Irish hotel prices"

The Irish hotel market remains stable, the latest figures show. But what is Ireland’s most expensive destination?

Image: HERBERT PFARRHOFER/APA/Press Association Images

THE IRISH HOTEL market remains stable, the latest figures show.

The most recent Hotels.com Hotel Price IndexTM (HPI®) shows that hotel room rates in Ireland remained stable in the first six months of the year compared to the same period last year.

Factors

The average hotel price is €81 per night, as hoteliers have managed to maintain price levels following a modest 4 per cent price increase in 2011 which Hotels.com said followed the high profile state visits last year.

Globally, hotel room prices rose 4 per cent in same period.

A number of factors contributed towards the stabilisation, including advanced bookings for festivals and concerts, the return of the conference market and the continued value on offer throughout the country.

Prices on the rise in Dublin and Belfast

Dublin hotel rates rose by 3 per cent in the first half of 2012 compared with 2011, bringing the average hotel price to €77 per night.

The capital’s prices continue to recover, particularly in the five-star and conferencing sectors while advanced bookings for high profile concerts are also providing a boost.

Dublin is still one of the best value capital cities in Europe – prices are lower than London (€137), Stockholm (€135), Oslo (€112) and Rome (€103). Athens is the only Western European capital city cheaper than Dublin. at €73 per night.

Hotel prices in Belfast rose 18 per cent in the first half of the year to an average of €88.
Hotels.com says this can be in part attributed to the Euro exchange rate drop, but also an increase in tourism during the first half of 2012 with the opening of the Titanic Belfast Exhibition and promotion of Belfast by Tourism Ireland.

Ireland’s most expensive destination

The survey showed that Kilkenny is Ireland’s most expensive destination – despite experiencing the largest price drop in Ireland in the first half of the year.

Prices in the popular tourist spot fell 8 per cent but the city still commands an average room rate of €96 per night.

Galway is the second most expensive destination with prices down just 1 per cent, to an average of €94.

Waterford saw its prices rise 6 per cent from €65 to €69, while prices in Cork remained flat, down just €1 to an average of €79 between January and June 2012.

Risers and fallers on a global scale

Seychelles is now the most expensive country for hotels, with the average room price up 10 per cent in the first half of the year to €249.

Other countries that fared well:

  • Mauritius is second, with prices up 17 per cent to €178 on average
  • Brazil takes the third spot with rates up 11 per cent to €166
  • Switzerland is once again the most expensive European country and the seventh most expensive country in the world overall, with an average hotel price now €150
  • The most expensive Eurozone country in the latest HPIwas Finland, up 7 per cent to €112
  • Australian prices are up 10 per cent to €119 on average
  • South Africa saw its prices rise 11 per cent to €117
  • The Middle East showed signs of recovery, with all eight countries in the HPI reporting higher prices
  • Egypt, which experienced a fall in prices following the 2011 Arab Spring, saw rates rise by 3 per cent to €75.

Most expensive destinations in the world

What are the most expensive destinations in the world?

  1. Capri on Italy’s Amalfi Coast once again tops the chart. Its prices are up 15 per cent to €239 per night.
  2. With a price rise of 24 per cent to €210, Rio de Janeiro is the second most expensive destination in the latest HPIreport
  3. New York is the third most expensive, with prices up 4 per cent to €178 on average.

Seamus MacCormaic, senior director market management at Hotels.com, said:

While prices are stable, it’s important to remember that we’re coming from three years of steep price declines and at an average rate of €81 per night, Ireland still offers exceptional value for both domestic and international travellers.

Read: How to… nab a bargain holiday>

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