A turbulent two years due to the pandemic proved to be the ultimate test of resilience and business continuity for hotels in Ireland. This year, however, has produced a strong recovery despite a difficult start and ongoing global macroeconomic uncertainty. Hotels in Ireland have been successful in navigating the choppy waters as evidenced by the performance recorded thus far in 2022.
Ireland surpassing 2019 performance levels
RevPAR (local currency), September 2022 YTD
Republic of Ireland RevPAR:
The capital has posted strong levels of recovery with performance exceeding 2019 levels in recent months. Many events in the early part of the year were rescheduled from the previous two years. Furthermore, a strong events calendar for which the city is known once again featured big name concerts from Guns N’ Roses, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Liam Gallagher through the summer, while Garth Brooks was one of the city’s most anticipated events in September. Hotel revenue per available room (RevPAR), the standard metric for measuring top-line performance, reached €190.39 in September and was 23% higher than the pre-pandemic rate. That jump was a result of a 92.4% occupancy with an average daily rate (ADR) of €205.96. Dublin’s momentum has continued into Q4 with the launch of the “Winter in Dublin” campaign by Fáilte Ireland, and upcoming concerts, such as Robbie Williams, Rod Stewart, and Westlife’s “Home for Christmas”, concerts all driving hotel bookings.
Experiencing similar levels of recovery, Cork hoteliers enjoyed a busy summer coupled with an excellent September, when RevPAR reached €137.84, a 33.5% increase from 2019. The Guinness Cork Jazz Festival on 26-30 October, coming back after a two-year hiatus, also created a demand spike as shown in STR’s occupancy-on-the-books data, powered by Forward STAR.
Kerry, Mayo, Sligo
Some of Ireland’s premier leisure destinations reaped the benefits of pent-up demand as strong domestic and international tourism returned. Traditionally affected more by seasonality due to their leisure dependency, it is encouraging to see signs of an “extended” season for these markets up to September and even into the shoulder months of October/November. All of these destinations have surpassed pre-pandemic RevPAR levels for the September year-to-date period, mainly driven by ADR, which is in line with both national and global trends.
Galway & Kilkenny
Sports tourism has proven highly beneficial for both destinations thus far in 2022. The Galway Races made a successful return to full ticket capacity. In a similar vein, events such as the Galway Christmas market are returning this year to full, unrestricted capacity after being cancelled or heavily restricted due to the pandemic in previous years. Hotel performance highlights for September included occupancy of 87.7%, which was just 2% below 2019, and ADR reaching €143.01. In Kilkenny, the 2022 Horizon Golf Pro-Am in June successfully “putt” the destination on the global map of top-tier golf. As a popular destination for American inbound tourism, currently benefitting from a highly favourable currency exchange rate, hotel performance has mainly been driven by ADR.
A healthy winter ahead?
Overall, confidence in the country’s hotel performance has been boosted by a strong performance rebound throughout the country, particularly during the summer holiday season. Occupancy on the books looks healthy into the winter season at this point providing tourism stakeholders with evidence of a sustained recovery heading into 2023, albeit with economic headwinds.
To learn more about the data behind this article and what STR has to offer, visit https://str.com/.
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