2018 was a remarkable year for Irish tourism, with Ireland continuing to appeal to holidaymakers from home and abroad. Overseas visitor numbers continued to grow and contributed over €5 billion to the economy.
Fáilte Ireland monitors the performance of tourist accommodation through regular occupancy surveys. This analysis indicates that while the country as a whole has sufficient stock of tourist accommodation, there are capacity constraints in areas of high tourist traffic at times of peak demand and additional capacity is required in certain parts of the country, particularly Dublin city.
In this context, Fáilte Ireland commissions periodic assessments of hotel accommodation in Dublin, most recently August 2018. Although the latest results confirm the current shortage, they expect that approximately 5,400 hotel rooms will come on stream in the coming years, including over 3,000 already under construction. Present projections are that this activity will still be outpaced by growing demand but this is a dynamic situation and additional room stock may be developed in response to this demand.
Last year Fáilte also commissioned a new study of accommodation capacity in three key non-Dublin destiations - Cork, Galway and Kilkenny. The report highlights the need to develop new accommodation stock and opportunties for investment in Kilkenny, where 41 new rooms are likely to come on stream by 2022 to add to the current supply, an increase of just 4%. Galway will have an estimated 17% increase in hotel bed stock over the next five years, 500 new hotel rooms, but this increase is likely to fall short of expected demand growth. In regard to Cork, current figures project a 35% increase (over 920 new hotel rooms) by 2022, which positions the city well to take full advantage of all future growth potential. As in Dublin, these are dynamic markets and the supply of room stock may change in response to demand.