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23.02.2014

HOTELS SECTOR REPORT SHOWS SLIGHT INCREASE IN BEDNIGHTS

2013 Good Year but Full Recovery Long Way Off

 

  • Hotel room occupancy rates up 1% in 2013 
  • Weak consumer sentiment impacting on domestic tourism
  • Overseas visitors up 469,000 (7.2%) in 2013
  • Over 23,000 jobs created by hospitality sector since 2011

 

Sunday, 23rd February 2014: Hotels and guesthouses today reported a 1% increase in national room occupancy levels for 2013, driven largely by an upturn in overseas visitor numbers. Speaking on the eve of the Irish Hotels Federation’s (IHF) 76th Annual Conference, Chief Executive Tim Fenn says that additional overseas visitors provided a boost to many hotels, particularly premises located in the large urban areas and tourism hotspots.

 

Mr Fenn says the hospitality sector’s success in creating 23,300 new jobs since 2011, highlighted the need for continued Government support to ensure tourism reaches its full potential as an engine of growth and employment. The tourism industry as a whole now supports almost 200,000 jobs - equivalent to 11% of total employment in the country, some 54,000 are in the hotels sector.

 

Overseas visitors grew by 469,000 to 6.99 million in 2013 (up 7.2%), supported by a series of pro-tourism initiatives by the Government such as the reduced tourism VAT rate and The Gathering, which was enormously successful. However, growth potential was held back by subdued consumer demand from the island of Ireland, which accounts for the majority of all hotel bednights (69%).

 

Mr Fenn notes that last year’s tourism gains were not spread evenly across the country. Many rural hotels continued to face the twin pressures of weak domestic demand and difficulties encouraging overseas visitors to venture outside the traditional tourism locations.

 

“We’re effectively seeing a three-speed recovery with Dublin city centre positioned in the fast lane and tourism hotspots such as Cork, Galway and Killarney doing fairly well. Unfortunately, rural areas such as the Midlands, Shannon and North West are lagging behind due to their over-dependence on local consumer spending.”

 

Market overview:

Visitors from North America were up by 13.9% to 1.16 million in 2013 while visitors from mainland Europe were up 4.9% to 2.46 million. Visitors from Britain – Ireland’s main tourism market – were up by 5.6% to 2.93 million, reflecting improved sentiment among British consumers. However, the British market remains a serious challenge with annual visitors still down over one million compared to 2007 levels.

 

Total revenue generated across all tourism-related businesses in 2013 was up 5% at €5.7 billion and accounted for 4% GNP. Of this, €4.3 billion was attributed to foreign exchange earnings (overseas visitors). Home-grown tourism was flat with revenues from the domestic market up 1% at €1.4 billion, but significantly down on pre-recession levels.

 

2013 Room Occupancy Levels:

·       Overall: 61%, (2012: 60%)

·       Dublin: 70%, (2012: 69%)

·       East and Midlands: 46%, (2012: 45%)

·       South East: 58%, (2012: 58%)

·       South West: 58%, (2012: 61%)

·       Shannon: 56%, (2012: 50%)

·       West: 63%, (2012: 62%)

·       North West: 54%, (2012: 53%)

 

Breakdown of Overseas Visitor Numbers*

 

MARKET

2013

2012

Year on Year

 

 

 

 

Trips from Overseas

6.99 million

6.52 million

7.2% increase

Britain

2.93 million

2.77 million

5.6% increase

Mainland Europe

2.46 million

2.35 million

4.9% increase

North America

1.16 million

1.02 million

13.9% increase

 

(*overseas visitor numbers include same-day visits and exclude overseas visitors entering the Republic of Ireland via Northern Ireland)

ENDS

 

FOR INFORMATION:

Eoin Quinn / Siobhan Molloy                         Dublin office: 01 6798600

Weber Shandwick                                                Mobile: 087 233 2191 / 086 817 50 66

 

HOTEL & GUESTHOUSE STATISTICS

 

76th IHF ANNUAL CONFERENCE (24-25th February 2014)

  • 6.99 million overseas visitors in 2013, 7.2% increase on 2012 (6.52 million);
  • Tourism accounts for almost 4% GNP;
  • Total tourism revenue of €5.7 billion in 2013, up 5% compared with 2012;
  • €4.3 billion foreign exchange earnings in 2013, up 11% on 2012;
  • €1.4 billion in domestic tourism revenue in 2013, up 1% on 2012;
  • 812 hotels (835 in 2012) with 56,806 bedrooms (57,362 bedrooms in 2012);
  • 235 guesthouses (235 in 2012) with 2,925 bedrooms (3,119 in 2012);
  • Total of 59,731 hotel and guesthouse bedrooms in Ireland (60,481 in 2012).

 

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