Ireland’s remarkable recent growth in overseas tourism has contributed strongly to the country’s economic recovery. Over 2 of every 5 new jobs created since 2011 has been within the tourism and hospitality sector, and tourism’s value to the national economy is now at a new high.
Such significant growth over a relatively short period has posed problems though as capacity has struggled to keep apace. This is particularly evident within Dublin hotels, and there is a significant shortfall of tourism bed stock now in the wider Dublin area to cope with projected demand.
Property and banking crises of recent times have meant that new hotels have not been developed in a normal manner – indeed over the last five years as tourist arrivals to Dublin grew by 33%, the stock of available accommodation actually fell by 6%. This poses not just a capacity problem for Dublin (and in turn for Ireland as so many tourists spend part of their holiday in the capital) but also a competitiveness issue; as demand rises against static supply there will be upward pressure on prices.
Thankfully, according to a recent report published by Fáilte Ireland, additional new hotels are in the pipeline and it is estimated that 5,500 much needed new hotel bedrooms are due to open and be trading by 2020. However, will all these forecasted hotels come on stream and on time? Are policy solutions robust and proactive enough to create the environment for new hotel developments?
The report makes for interesting reading – CLICK HERE or the image above – and the situation will have to be monitored very carefully if tourism into Ireland is to reach its full potential.