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There’s competition and then there’s new competition. New hotels create interest, publicity and enjoy an inevitable honeymoon period. Here’s what’s coming, have you a plan?

By Aiden Murphy, Crowe Horwath and Author of the Annual Irish Hotel Industry Survey.  Aiden will be a guest presenter at the 2018 Certificate in Hotel Leadership at Shannon College of Hotel Management (NUIG) a collaboration with Conor Kenny & Associates January – February 2018. You can read more here 

Crowe Horwath hosted a breakfast briefing on the Irish hotel market in the Conrad Hotel on Thursday morning in conjunction with Estate Agents Cushman and Wakefield. The theme of the event was ‘What is the impact of new supply on the hotel market?’ which explored the opportunities and challenges facing new hotel projects and the impact of new supply to the Dublin market on current profit levels within the sector.

Speaking to over 120 industry guests were Aiden Murphy, Partner, Crowe Horwath, Jonathan Hubbard, Head of Hospitality EMEA, Cushman & Wakefield and Stefan Lenze, Head of Development, Motel One.

Aiden Murphy noted that the Dublin hotel sector has seen unprecedented growth over the last five years with average room rates up €47 and occupancy up 12 percentage points both contributing to an average rise in profit per room of €12,000. These strong figures have been fuelled by the shortage of hotel rooms – with virtually no additional supply seen during this period.
In 2016, 5.6 million hotel rooms were sold in the Dublin hotel market at 82% occupancy. With an anticipated additional 4,000 hotel rooms over the next five years and for the market to just maintain demand it will have to grow 15% selling an extra 845k rooms per annum by 2021.

Aiden pointed to a key demand factor over the last five years as being the growth in international tourist numbers. For example, figures released in the recent Crowe Horwath Annual Hotel Industry Survey show that US visitors hold 17% of the Dublin market accounting for one million rooms in 2016. However, as the growth in US tourists is expected to flatten out, increased demand will need to come from the domestic market.

Aiden outlined that city centre hotels face increasing competition as 3,100 of the planned new 4,000 rooms, will be opened in the city centre. Existing city centre hotels will have to react to new competition and implement suitable room price strategy to compete within the expanded market and it may cause average room rates of €146 to fall especially when large format Budget Accommodation hotels in very central locations offer an urban designed product that is being well received in other comparable European cities and where the business strategy is to offer value in terms of rate at all times and not yield to maximum at busiest times which is now a feature of the Dublin market and which has fuelled the very steep increases in average room rates over the last few years..

Aiden highlighted the fact that the increased competition from the new city centre supply is likely to impact the suburban Dublin market as lower room rates entice customers back into the city centre.

Aiden Murphy is author of Crowe Horwath Annual Irish Hotel Industry Survey which provides analysis, financial and operational benchmark information and key performance indicators for different regions, different classifications and different six categories of hotels in the Irish market. Aiden Murphy is a partner with Crowe Horwath who are specialist accounts to the Irish hospitality sector.

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