Dublin's hotel room stock to rise 15% by 2020

Some 3,000 new rooms should help meet demand over the next couple of years...

Dublin's hotel capacity will increase 15% by 2020, with the addition of 3,000 rooms.

That's according to new research from Savills Hotels & Leisure, and comes amid recent Failte Ireland warnings that a shortage of hotel availability in the capital is both pushing prices up and deterring tourists from visiting.

Developments that are currently in the pipeline will chiefly add new units in the aparthotel and budget sectors, which are currently under-represented in Dublin.

Some 55% of the bedrooms will come from new hotels next year, with the remainder coming from extensions to existing properties.

By 2019, Savills expects nearly 90% of additional supply to come from new hotels.

Speaking to Breakfast Business this morning, Savills Hotels & Leisure director Tom Barrett said:

"There was nothing happening for 10 years, effectively, in the hotel development scene in Ireland, and now it's happening again. There's planning permissions and there are actually cranes over hotel sites in Dublin for the first time in nearly 10 years."

Barrett said that rising office construction would see opportunities "swing around to other sectors" such as the hotel industry. 

"We've got catching up to do. It's started to happen, it's been slow, but there are hotels now coming out of the ground that will open in 2018. 

"Virtually nothing [will open] this year. The only [room additions] this year are just little extensions, less than 200 rooms added in Dublin this year. Whereas in 2018 we would forecast up to 1,500 bedrooms will open."

In terms of the 3,000 rooms by 2020 figure, Barrett noted that there are planning applications for a lot more than that with new ones being added constantly, but expectations have to be tempered when you consider the difficulties in terms of finance and construction before they become a reality. 

He said of the overall hotel climate:

"There was a major decline in the industry. Hotel prices were very low in Dublin, rooms were available at all times. Now it's more like a normal, 'good' European city.

"We'd still be a lot cheaper than places like Amsterdam, Barcelona, but we trade in a market that's like Copenhagen so we're in our rightful place now. But we do need more bedrooms... that's starting to come through now at probably the right place."