Irish Hotel Industry Warns About Shortage Of Hotel Rooms To Meet Demand

By Robert McHugh
Irish Hotel Industry Warns About Shortage Of Hotel Rooms To Meet Demand

There is a shortage of 11,500 hotel rooms in Ireland to adequately address the anticipated demand within the upcoming decade, according to a report conducted by economist Jim Power.

The report underscores the absence of a hotel development pipeline in various regions across the country. The Midlands is highlighted as the area facing the most severe deficiency, accounting for just 5% of the total national hotel room capacity.

This comes after it was announced that the Midlands will be allocated €68 million investment in tourism infrastructure by 2026, as part of EU Just Transition tourism funding for the region.

'Severe Detriment'

The Chair of the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation (ITIC), Elaina Fitzgerald-Kane warned that the funding would be seriously undermined, if there is not a complimentary uplift in tourism accommodation.

“The Midlands will remain a transit zone rather than a touring zone to the severe detriment of local economies throughout the region," said Fitzgerald-Kane.


"We are delighted to bring our annual conference to Athlone to highlight these topics and hope many of the local hospitality business in the region will join us.”

Tourism Conference

The report was released ahead of a tourism industry conference in Radisson Blu Athlone which will take place in Athlone on September 18th for local stakeholders.

The conference entitled 'Tourism: Big Impact, Small Footprint' is organised by the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation (ITIC) and will feature new Late Late Show host Patrick Kielty, former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, UN Special Advisor Anita Mendiratta and Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin amongst others.

An All-Island Sector

Patrick Kielty will speak about tourism as a force for good and Bertie Ahern will be in conversation with Dearbhail McDonald about 25 years since the Good Friday Agreement and how tourism was chosen at the time as an all-island sector.

The event will be hosted by broadcaster Dearbhail McDonald and will be opened by Elaina Fitzgerald Kane, Chair of the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation.


Other speakers and panellists include economist Jim Power, Failte Ireland CEO Paul Kelly, Sean O’Driscoll of iNua hotel group, director of the Cliffs of Moher Geraldine Enright, and interim CEO of Tourism Ireland Siobhan McManamy.

A Special Recognition Award will also be presented to a tourism hero.

'Growing Our Potential'

“I am delighted to welcome the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation conference to Athlone and showcase this vibrant, central destination to delegates," said Mayor of Athlone, Councillor Louise Heavin.

"A thriving tourism industry is essential to growing our potential as a key hub for visitors exploring Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands and beyond."

The conference is sponsored by Fáilte Ireland, Tourism Ireland, AIB and Westmeath County Council.