"Airbnb might be a saviour" – hotelier Francis Brennan on Dublin rooms shortage

The TV personality talked TV, how the hospitality industry was gettig back on is feet post-recession and more on Down to Business...

Francis Brennan sat down with Bobby Kerr for the latest edition of Down to Business, chatting not only about his thriving RTÉ career, but also the current state of the hotel business in Ireland.

Asked whether he saw the likes of Airbnb as a threat, the owner of Kenmare's Park Hotel responded to the contrary.

Noting how Dublin needs a further 5,000 hotel rooms to meet demand, he warned that the capital "could get into terrible trouble" as tourists steer clear of Ireland altogether.

Brennan argued that if potential foreign visitors can't find accommodation in Dublin, Irish tourism as a whole will suffer as people will opt instead to visit other major European cities.

He said:

"It's critical that we don't lock out Dublin, because people just won't come..."

"Airbnb might be a saviour," he suggested, as it draws people to Ireland who will then spend their cash around the country.

Brennan also reflected on how the recession had affected business and how the recovery was going.

"[Dublin demand] hasn't filtered down to the country.

"We would not be back in Kenmare at the rate we used to get in 2006, I can tell you.

"We wouldn't be up there yet. We'd be not far off it but we're not there. So we've taken a six to eight year hit in the middle. And it wasn't easy for businesses like ours."

Brennan is optimistic, however, about the way the sector is headed.

"There's been an awful lot of sorting out over the last two years and Dublin has sorted itself out completely."

Turning to the telly, Brennan confirmed that At Your Service would be returning soon, as would his brother John following some time away to deal with a health scare.

"He's doing fine, which is great news. He's back on At Your Service with me on series nine, which we're filming at the moment...

"We had 80 applications for the show this year, which was unbelievable. And we only needed eight!"

Listen to the full interview below...