ASM Chartered Accountant's annual hotel industry survey for 2016 has revealed that occupancy rates in Northern Ireland reached a record 77.9%, up from the previous year's figure of 77.5%.
According to The Irish News, the data also indicates that occupancy rates in Belfast grew to an all-time high of 83.5%, with rural and resort hotels recording increased revenues as well.
Average room rates rose 4.1% to £77.95, while total revenue per room grew 15.7% to £53,363 and profits before rent, interest, tax, depreciation and amortization increased 17.7% to an average of £10,816 per room.
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ASM's director of consulting Michael Williamson stated, 'Without doubt, the almost instant decline in the value of sterling on the back of the EU referendum result in June 2016 boosted our competitiveness as a destination and, in Belfast especially, this made a tangible difference to the demand for accommodation in the second half of the year."
Williamson also accredited the favourable statistics to increased tourist appeal due to the opening of Belfast's extended Waterfront Hall, which features a variety of meeting, convention and exhibition spaces, as well as to "underlying growth in many areas outside of the capital city."
However, he added, "I fully expect there to be some decline in average bedroom occupancy rates from 2018 onwards. But let's remember that we are coming off a very high occupancy rate, so the impact may not be as severe as that experienced during the last wave of development in 2009 and 2010."