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Irish Hotel Rates Remain Amongst Lowest in Europe

Irish hotel rates remain amongst the lowest in Europe, according to a comprehensive report published by Hotels.com. Priced as the second cheapest in Western Europe, the Irish hotel market is becoming increasingly competitive as they come out of the recession.

Hotel rates in Ireland actually rose by 4% in 2011, with the visits of U.S. President Barack Obama and Queen Elizabeth the primary factor, as well as a large number of high-profile events taking place in the capital city of Dublin. Despite the rise, Irish hotel rates will cost incoming delegates the same as they would expect to have paid in 2004, representing excellent value for money.

"Ireland has always prized itself in being value for money for tourists," said Jean Evans, Regional Director – Association Relations at the MCI Group and Chairperson of the Association of Irish Professional Conference Organisers (AIPCO). "We gained a reputation as an expensive country to visit during the financial boom, but figures such as these give the real truth – we want tourists here and are prepared to work incredibly hard to allow them to do so whether they are looking for a luxury or budget experience."

For luxury accommodation Ireland remains very competitive against international opposition, with the price of a four-star hotel representing the same cost as a two-star hotel in New York. The Irish hotel industry has benefited from the new 9% VAT rate for tourism services, with the rate extended into 2013. This lowering was part of a comprehensive plan to make the Irish tourism industry even more competitive.

Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadker: "Following recent discussions with the Minister of Finance, I have obtained an assurance that the lower rate of VAT will be maintained during 2013… the maintenance of the lower rate is a further example of the importance which the Government attaches to the tourism industry and the contribution it can make to the economic recovery."

The percentage changes to Ireland’s hotel industry accurately reflected the general trend throughout the globe, where moderate price rises were seen in the majority of nations. Global hotel prices rose by 4% on average in 2011, with occupancy rates rising by 2 – 3%. This will be the third consecutive year that global hotel rates rose yet the average price still remains similar to that of 2005, reflecting the depth of the financial crisis that the hotel industry is working its way out of.

"In a way, Ireland is in a very lucky position," said Christoph Haustein, Director of Sales & Marketing at Tifco Hotels. "We invested heavily in our infrastructure over the past decade which means that once we have made the financial readjustments required, we’ll not only have some of the best hotels in the world; they’ll offer some of the most competitive rates too. This survey has shown we are already well on our way to that ideal balance."