IHF Update on Hotel Capacity Challenges in Dublin
Hotels across Dublin are experiencing exceptional levels of advance bookings this summer relative to capacity as a result of a much faster rebound in tourism than previously anticipated, according to the latest analysis by the Irish hotels Federation (IHF). This coincides with an unprecedented reduction in Dublin hotel room stock that would normally be available to supply tourism accommodation.
As a result, many hotels are nearing full capacity on busy days earlier than in previous years. Some 80% of available Dublin hotel rooms for the month of June had already been booked in advance by the end of May. This is a significant increase on pre-pandemic levels in 2019, when the advance bookings for June stood at 65% at the end of May.
Tim Fenn, IHF Chief Executive said: “The recovery is being fuelled by very significant levels of pent-up consumer demand – both domestically and internationally. At the same time, many Dublin hotels are managing unprecedented levels of displaced business including group bookings that had been previously contracted back in 2020 and 2021. Dublin hotels are also experiencing substantial increases in demand from activity within the wider economy, for example with large-scale commercial construction projects having restarted.”
Dublin has 22,492 registered hotel rooms. IHF industry research indicates that 17.6% of these (3,960 rooms) are currently unavailable for use as tourist accommodation: 15.2% (3,410 rooms) are contracted by Government and State bodies while 2.4% (550 rooms) are out of service due to reduced staffing levels, staff accommodation allocations, supplier issues and refurbishment projects.
Mr Fenn notes that hotel capacity issues are further compounded by shortfalls in additional Dublin hotel stock coming on stream due to delays in construction activity during the pandemic. The combined effect of these exceptional factors is that there are now more nights, particularly at weekends and on nights when there are major events, where hotel room occupancy in Dublin exceeds 90% (compression nights) and the last available rooms are quoted at rates in excess of the average daily room rate.