The latest industry survey* conducted by the Irish Hotels Federation reveals the enormous challenges facing hotels and guesthouses with demand plummeting year on year as a results of the current crisis. Nationally, average room occupancy stood at 42% for July, compared with occupancy levels of over 90% for July last year. This is the largest year-on-year drop ever recorded by the Irish hotels sector for the peak summer season.
Bookings for August have also plummeted to levels broadly in line with those in July. Bookings for September show a further dramatic drop in occupancy levels to 24% nationally. This points to a very worrying outlook for the rest of the year. Meanwhile the CSO announced earlier this week that the number of overseas visitors to Ireland has by dropped by 97% year on year.
Breakdown of occupancy results for July 2020:
National room occupancy: 42%
Dublin City and County: 17%
Other Cities: 41%
Rest of Country (excluding cities): 56%
Border region: 63%
Midlands / Mid East: 48%
South East: 63%
South West: 53%
**see note below for description of regions
The survey was carried out on 27th July and results are based on the response from 305 properties. These account for a combined stock of 29,500 guestrooms spread throughout the entire country, making it the largest and most representative survey of its kind to date.
Commenting on the results, IHF President Elaina Fitzgerald Kane said that the stark figures highlight the requirement for additional sectoral specific measures for tourism. She said: “Even in a best case scenario we are effectively looking at occupancy levels of less than 30% for the year as a whole. This is nothing short of disastrous for our sector with serious implications for the tourism industry and wider economy.”
“Unfortunately the stimulus package recently announced by the Government just doesn’t go far enough given the scale of the crisis we are facing. The measures fail to deliver the required supports around competitiveness and liquidity, which is very disappointing and could have long-term consequences for tourism and the almost 270,000 livelihoods it supports.”