New research undertaken by estate agency Savills has revealed that with 1,247 additional hotel rooms currently in the pipeline for Belfast, the city's room numbers are rising at the fastest rate in the UK.
The Belfast Telegraph reports that of the 1,247 rooms being developed at the moment, 1,060 are expected to come on stream in 2018, with 61% being in new hotels and 39% being in extensions of pre-existing venues.
According to Savills' statistics, half of all hotels rooms in Belfast will be controlled by operators Hastings, Dalata and Andras House by 2020.
Nine new hotel developments have currently been greenlit in the city, including the 304-bedroom Grand Central on Bedford Street, Dalata's Maldron Hotel on Brunswick Street, a new Hampton by Hilton on Hope Street and an AC by Marriott at City Quays. Assuming all of these developments come to fruition, Savills says Belfast's hotel room stock will rise by 36% by 2019.
Commenting on the agency's data, Savills Ireland associate director of hotels and leisure Aaron Spring said, "Its growing appeal as a business and leisure destination has resulted in Belfast achieving the second highest hotel occupancy in the UK, just behind Edinburgh. With strong hotel operators, who have large existing footprints in Belfast, undertaking the projects nearing completion, it is a great vote of confidence in the city."
Spring added, "I also expect to see more regional hotel projects commencing in high demand areas such as the north Antrim coast next year, due to the growing popularity of these areas and lack of new bedroom stock in recent years."