Expert tells George Hook to 'cut the crap' over tourism warning

Professor Michael Hall and Hook got into a heated debate

Expert tells George Hook to 'cut the crap' over tourism warning

Tourists walk through Temple Bar in Dublin | Image:

One tourism expert has suggested people should not holiday in Ireland for short breaks or business conferences.

International tourism expert Professor Michael Hall is from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.

It comes as Ireland is named as the second most expensive European Union country for goods and services.

Eurostat estimates that Irish costs for a broad selection of products are 25% pricier than the EU average.

We ranked as the most expensive for alcohol and tobacco - with prices 175% that of the average.

Prof Hall told George Hook on High Noon: "I didn't say that nobody should come to Dublin, I actually said that I wouldn't come unless I was coming here for business or for a conference - and I wouldn't recommend people to come for a short break or a weekend, especially in peak season, because it's so expensive.

"And it's not just the price per se - it's value for money".

"It struck me, and I've been in Dublin before, that for me and what I'm interested in I do not want to go to a place where I'm paying lots of money and quite frankly (seeing) lots of people puking up on a Saturday night."

File photo of tourists in Dublin | Image:

George suggested that those from New Zealand are "notoriously tightwads", to which Prof Hall replied: "Don't try and sensationalise it, that's ridiculous.

"I think Kiwis are like anyone else... cut the crap. It's a case of anyone, when you're travelling, it's value for money.

"Whether it's people from New Zealand or Australia or wherever".

George then claimed that some of the price comparisons used were unfair: "You're suggesting that a Dublin hotel is 400 quid and you compare to Helsinki - who the hell wants to go to Helsinki? Of course the hotels are cheaper".

Prof Hall replied: "If you think about it and if you shut up for a moment... Helsinki and Finland make a really interesting comparison to Ireland.

"You're on the periphery of Europe, you both position yourselves in terms of being green, you also try and position yourself in terms of high-tech and being innovative.

"But the real difference for me is that if I'm going to Helsinki... it isn't costing me so much".

"It's like you going to New Zealand: if you're going to the other end of the world, what are we comparing with?

"And if I'm going to have the kind of experience I want... price wise and value wise, I would go for leisure travel to Finland or maybe even Sweden.

"It's different if I have to come here for business - if I have to come for business then I have to come.

"But if I'm coming from the other side of the world and it's discretionary money, then that's a different game".