Irish hospitality rebounds to over 80% of pre-Covid levels

Business in Irish hotels is at more than 80% of pre-Covid levels, putting the Republic in Europe’s top three, an industry gathering will hear this week.

The Republic, the United Kingdom and Poland are the only European countries whose hotels reached 80% or more occupancy before the pandemic, according to STR, the number one in the hotel industry.

In the 28 days to April 11, Irish hotels accounted for 81.3% of room rentals in 2019, before Covid travel restrictions sent tourism and business travel into a tailspin ago two years.

According to STR, this ranked the Republic third in Europe, behind the United Kingdom, which had 87% of 2019 levels, and Poland, which was at 84.5%.

Figures show the Polish occupation has fallen from a peak of 94% reached in February when refugees from Ukraine fled the Russian invasion to their western neighbour.

STR, part of Nasdaq-listed Costar, will present the latest figures at the International Hotel Investment Forum, which kicks off in Berlin, Germany on Tuesday.

Main markets

Robin Rossmann, chief executive of STR, said his company estimates hotels in most major markets should recover between 90 and 100 percent of 2019 levels by the middle of this month.

“Europe’s occupancy recovery has accelerated in recent months to 70% of pre-pandemic comparables,” he noted.

“In general, leisure-dependent markets have been furthest along the timeline, but there are encouraging signs of life returning to hub cities that are much more dependent on business demand.”

March figures showed Irish hotels had the highest forward booking rates in Europe in April, with spikes of over 70%.

Hoteliers here have also benefited from the arrival of travelers for St. Patrick’s Day and Six Nations rugby matches.

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