Ireland's four-star hotels led the way as the strongest sector nationally in 2010, with occupancy rising by 4.5% points on 2009, according to CityOccupancy hotel index. In a 2010 annual report the index, produced in association with international real estate advisor Savills, shows that the four-star market adopted an aggressive rate strategy, dropping average room rates (ARR) by 7.4% in 2010, which in turn drove occupancy up to 65.2% nationally.
The monthly index records and measures activity in the sector based on daily statistics supplied by over 100 participating hotels, primarily in the urban centers of Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway. According to the annual report the strongest local market in 2010 was Cork, where revenue per available room (RevPAR) rose 3% on 2009 and occupancy reached 69%, making a return to 2007 levels. The city achieved 11 consecutive months of occupancy growth, aided by the closure of a leading hotel.
On a national level the report shows that Irish hotel occupancy has risen by 2.9% points over the past year, while competitive pricing caused a 6.3% drop in ARR in 2010 on 2009. Of hotels surveyed in the index RevPAR fell by 1.8% in Ireland in 2010, but most locations recorded some RevPAR growth during the second half of last year.
Tom Barrett, of Savills hotels team in Ireland, says: "Overall occupancy grew at the expense of ARR as prices were lowered to boost the home holiday market for hotels, but after a very difficult year in 2009 it is encouraging to see improved trading and an upward trend during 2010. The 3% RevPAR progress in Cork was achieved after a leading hotel closed due to flood damage, and shows a positive result when supply is reduced in a steadying market."
In Dublin the report shows that RevPAR fell by 7% in 2010 compared with 2009 due to very competitive hotel pricing in the city, but it expects the opening of the Convention Centre Dublin, the Grand Canal Theatre and Aviva Stadium to boost trade in 2011.