Summer hotel bookings are slowly beginning to recover in traditional domestic tourism hot spots but Dublin hotels appear to be in line for another disastrous season, according to figures released by the Irish Hotels Federation.
A federation survey of its members shows that 23 per cent of Irish hotel rooms are booked for July with 21 per cent reserved for the following month, in what the federation described as “early signs of an uplift”. The traditional tourist magnet areas of the southeast and southwest are at 38 per cent and 35 per cent respectively for July, with both at 33 per cent so far for August.
However, Dublin hotels are just 11 per cent booked so far for July and 12 per cent for August. With domestic holidaymakers fleeing from the city to other parts of the country and the numbers of international tourists who normally fill the capital’s hotels expected to be negligible this year, it appears unlikely that the gap between Dublin hotels and the rest will grow.
Other cities are 18 per cent booked for July and 17 per cent for August. Bookings are coming faster for the Border region, which includes secondary tourism areas such as the lakeland regions of Leitrim and Cavan. It is 30 per cent booked for July and 28 per cent for August. The west is at 29 per cent and 22 per cent, the midlands is at 21 per cent and 20 per cent, and the midwest 21 per cent and 18 per cent.
In September after the new school year is due to start, national bookings slide to 18 per cent but rise to 15 per cent in Dublin. The southeast and southwest dip to 26 per cent and 23 per cent respectively.
“There is still a long way to go before hotel occupancy reaches even last summer’s levels,” said federation chief executive Tim Fenn. “Recovery will be a challenge for the hotel sector this year, requiring continued Government support through to 2022, when the tourism industry should start to recover in earnest.”
The survey was carried out on April 6th-8th and the results are based on the response of 330 properties with 32,850 guest rooms spread countrywide.