Fáilte Ireland warns Dublin faces hotel room capacity challenge until at least 2018

It is estimated an additional 5,550 bedrooms will become available over the next two years

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Fáilte Ireland is warning that Dublin faces a hotel room capacity challenge, which could threaten its success as a tourist destination.

A report commissioned by the tourism group estimates that an additional 5,550 bedrooms will become available over the next two years.

However, it says the rooms are not guaranteed and, even if built, will not be available until 2018 or later - meaning there will be capacity challenges until at least 2018.

One way to tackle capacity would be to allow certain hotels to remove their food and drink facilities and to have smaller bedrooms, the report suggests.

This could mean a reduction from 18.5 square metres to 14.

Dermot Crowley, the Deputy CEO of Irish hotel group Dalata, says not all hotels would be in favour of such a move.

"I can see the logic behind - it's very helpful for the budget sector [...] I think we just need to be careful that we don't just downgrade our rooms and chase cheap products," he argued.

Other suggestions in the report include streamlining or fast-tracking the planning process; improving transport links to the capital's suburbs; and initiatives to help spread demand across the year and across the city and county.

Fáilte Ireland CEO Shaun Quinn said: “We face acute pressures until 2018, at least, but I would caution all in the industry to keep an eye on competitiveness.

"Supply will eventually improve with the right environment but, if we lose our competitive edge in the meantime, demand could well soften – and that’s a problem which nobody in tourism wants," he added.