Bookings for Irish Hotels on the Rise
Published on Jun 24 2014 3:21 PM in Hotel
According to the Irish Hotels Federation’s (IHF) quarterly barometer, around 72 per cent of Irish hotels have reported an increase in advance bookings for this summer compared to last. Overall bookings are also up so far this year compared to 2013.
Both domestic and foreign tourism has increased for hotels, with domestic tourism doing particularly well compared to recent years. There has also been an increase in bookings for corporate events.
As a result of the increase in bookings around 40 per cent of hotels are planning to hire more staff, however many hoteliers are finding it more difficult to find qualified staff for entry level positions. According to Tim Fenn, chief executive of the IHF: "This will significantly hinder the prospect of achieving the target to increase tourism related jobs by in excess of 40,000 between now and 2020." Around 73 per cent of those surveyed said they were having difficulty finding staff, up from 64 per cent last year.
He continued: “Despite the upturn, the hotels sector is still a number of years away from achieving sustainability and Irish tourism still faces some serious challenges. As we seek to secure growth in the tourism industry, the barrier to stifle that growth must be addressed." In addition to hiring more staff, the increase in bookings has led around 74 per cent of hoteliers to plan to increase investment in refurbishments within the next year.
The increase in bookings would suggest that tourists are not discouraged by the fact that, in general, Irish hotels charge 28 per cent more than the EU average, according to recent Eurostat findings. The IHF has warned that one of the factors contributing to the high costs is the high rate charges and that this issue needs to be addressed if Irish hotels are to stay competitive.