Dublin may double hotel capacity by 2023

29 January 2019 Consultancy.uk

Dublin could support the doubling of its hotel room capacity in the hope of cashing in on tourists deterred from visiting the UK by Brexit, according to a new industrial forecast. By 2023, some 3,000 rooms could be opened in the Irish capital, in addition to the 699 currently being built. 

Foreign tourists arriving in the UK grew by 9% in volume in 2017, with the industry bringing in close to £24.5 billion in that time. The tourist industry employs around 2.9 million people, representing around 10% of employment, so should the sector encounter headwinds in the near future, it could have dire consequences for the nation. This represents a major opportunity for the tourist industry of Ireland, however, which will be looking to cash in on Brexit anxiety in the coming months. 

While London retains a reputation as one of Europe’s top destination – 32% of respondents in a tourist survey by Deloitte favoured the British capital, which has fallen behind Dutch capital Amsterdam. Barcelona came in third, cited by 28% of respondents as the most attractive, but importantly, the number favouring Dublin grew to 24%.

Dublin may double hotel capacity by 2023

Now, consultants from Crowe have claimed that Dublin could support a doubling in hotel room capacity over the next seven years, as it seeks to make the most of this spike in demand. In spite of significant increases in demand, the level of hotel supply in Dublin over the past decade has been maintained at about 150 hotels and 19,000 rooms. Based on planning and developer appetite, however, Crowe concluded that 3,000 hotel rooms could be opened in Dublin by 2023 in addition to the 699 rooms currently under construction and ready to be delivered for Dublin by 2020.

Performing the research on behalf of hotelier Brian McGettigan – currently seeking to construct a seven-storey, 65-bedroom hotel at Parnell Street and Capel Street, Dublin – Crowe forecast that 2019 will be “another year of growth” in the sector, but “we do not anticipate it will be at the same levels as previous as new supply entered the market and as the current hotel supply absorbs some of the VAT increase.”

Dublin currently has 149 registered hotels with 19,381 rooms, of which 44% are located in Dublin city centre, and a hotel will take two to three years to stabilise within its local area, making a drastic rise less likely usually. However, the analysts added that in the case of new Dublin city-centre hotels, “stabilisation should be reached sooner as demand is so strong.”

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