Rip-off hotel prices in Dublin are ruining the industry’s "competitiveness", a Killarney hotelier has said.
Last year, the price of hotels in the capital surged - with some charging as much as €2,400 for a single room.
Over the St Patrick’s Day weekend this year, it cost €1,100 to stay in a bunk bed in a shared dormitory.
The VAT rate for the hotel industry was cut to 9% during the pandemic and is due to return to 13.5% at the end of the summer.
Ahead of last year’s budget, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said he had taken hotels’ price gouging “into account” and hotelier Niall O’Callaghan said the industry had not helped itself.
“You try to encourage people to understand that the 9% VAT rate is worth more to you than upping the prices or sporting events or whatever else,” he told Lunchtime Live.
“That in the long-run it’s better to be more competitive.”
Mr O’Callaghan’s urged people to book well in advance and said there is better value outside of the capital.
“You can go for extremes,” he said.
“You can say, ‘Oh yeah, I saw a hotel in Killarney for €1,200 - it might be a 5 Star hotel or one of the best hotels in the world.
“So, yeah, you’re going to pay that.
“But if you want to come to my mother’s hotel it’s €120.
“So, there are competitive rates from the Killarney point of view.
“From the Dublin point of view, I’d be disappointed at times.”
Mr O’Callaghan said he did not like to “tell people how to run their business” but said he would like to see a “bit more competitiveness” in Dublin during big events.
Prior to the pandemic, out of state tourism expenditure was worth €5.6 billion to the Irish economy and generated €1.8 billion in revenue for the exchequer.
Main image: A hotel room in Dublin. Picture by: Alamy.com