Booking a holiday in Ireland can cost significantly more depending on where you are when you make the reservation, new research by Newstalk has revealed.
The research found that visitors from Britain and the US generally face the highest prices when booking through third-party sites – with price differences nearly as high as €500 in one case.
According to the research by Newstalk reporter Josh Crosbie, a stay at one apartment in Dublin was €476 more expensive for a US visitor than for an Irish customer.
Meanwhile, a 13-day tour via a third-party site was advertised as €379 more expensive for a US tourist than it was for an Irish customer.
The price differences uncovered by the survey usually ranged from €40 to €100 but for tours, it was even more significant - with prices up to €300 higher quoted.
The research also found that Irish people are being charged extra for certain services – with car rentals more expensive for those booking from within Ireland than for those in the US.
The searches also revealed some stark price differences for people planning St Patrick’s Day holidays in Ireland.
The below offers are available through third-party sites for two people arriving on Thursday 16th March and checking out on Monday 20th.
- A private one-bedroom suite apartment in Dublin City Centre is €476 more for a US customer than an Irish customer. The offer on a third-party site includes free airport taxi on the US search.
- A hotel in Cork City is €111 more for Irish customers than it is for those searching from the UK. It is also €92 more for an Irish customer compared to someone in the US.
- A private holiday home in Co Galway with five beds is €78 more for a UK customer than an Irish customer.
- A hotel in Co Wicklow is €117 more for a US customer compared to those searching within Ireland.
- It is €69.95 more expensive to rent a Volkswagen Polo in Dublin from the 16th to the 20th of March for an Irish customer than for those searching in the US. A BMW 5 Series is €30.26 more expensive for a US customer than for an Irish customer.
- A BMW 5 series is €64.09 more expensive for an Irish customer than it is for someone based in the UK. A Hyundai Tucson is €49.60 more for the UK customer than a customer searching within Ireland.
- A St. Patrick's day tour over four days including accommodation via a third-party site is €108 more expensive for a US customer than a customer searching in Ireland.
- A seven-day tour of Ireland in the winter is €246 more for an Irish customer than a US visitor.
- A seven-day tour of Ireland during the summer is €192 more for a UK customer than an Irish customer.
- A Dublin and Wicklow tour over seven days is €198 more for an Irish customer than a UK customer.
- A tour of Ireland over eight days is €140 more for customers searching from the UK than it is for an Irish customer.
The Irish Tourism Industry Confederation CEO Eoghan O’Mara Walsh told Newstalk that customers should look to book directly – cutting out websites that earn commission for their services.
“A lot of the time, bookings are made via third-party websites or online travel agents. I suppose the thing to keep in mind is that those third-party websites earn a commission or, at times, mark up the price,” he said.
“So, they can influence the price and third-party websites can often apply a mark-up that is kind of hidden from the consumer.
"The main thing for anyone travelling to Ireland for a holiday is to book direct, [which] means you’re going to get the price directly from the service provider.”
Main image: A split of a hotel room and a car rental.