Marriott International's Aloft hotel brand and members of the Labour Party have objected to student accommodation provider Uninest's proposal to offer student accommodation in Dublin to tourists.
It was reported in August that Uninest was seeking permission to convert a number of its buildings in Dublin into temporary hotels, and that the student accommodation provider had submitted several planning applications to Dublin City Council that stated that Uninest is seeking permission to rent rooms at five of its student accommodation blocks in Dublin to tourists during the 2020/2021 academic year.
Uninest reportedly claimed that demand from students for accommodation during the current academic year will be constrained because many colleges and universities are expected to engage in remote learning.
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According to The Business Post, Aloft has objected to Uninest's proposal in a submission to Dublin City Council that stated that the student accommodation provider's proposal would "add further turmoil to an increasingly difficult and unprecedented time for hotel and tourist accommodation owners".
Aloft's submission reportedly also stated, "It is contended that any further increase of tourist accommodation to the market, such as that proposed within this application, would be detrimental to the survival of the existing hoteliers."
Labour Party Members' Objection
Senator Marie Sherlock and Councillor Declan Meenagh of the Labour Party have also reportedly objected to Uninest's proposal.
The Business Post quotes the two Labour Party members as saying, "Given the likelihood that many courses will remain at least partially in-person - a proportion that is likely to increase as the academic year progresses - it is reasonable to assume that a large share of the student accommodation facility could be filled."
They also stated that student accommodation operators could fill units if they amended prices and contracts to suit students' needs, and added, "The current crisis has exposed the shaky foundation upon which the student accommodation sector in Dublin has been built - overly reliant on incoming international students, being charged rents that are beyond the means to pay of the majority of students."
IHF Objections To Student Accommodation Being Used As Tourist Accommodation
The Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) has also objected to student accommodation being used as tourist accommodation in recent years.
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