Fine Gael Dublin Senator, Catherine Noone, has today (Thursday) strongly criticised what she described as the exorbitant rates being charged by some city centre hotels for accommodation for the weekend of the Garth Brooks’ concerts in Croke Park.
“It is extremely disappointing that Dublin hotels are hiking their prices to double or triple the normal rate for people hoping to spend a night in the city after the Garth Brooks concerts. This type of behaviour doesn’t do the hotel industry or the tourism industry as a whole any favours.
“This short-term gain, as ever, comes at a long-term expense. Tourists who have been ripped off when it comes to accommodation will simply spend less while here, which means local restaurants and businesses won’t experience an associated boost in revenues.
“One of the main criticisms levelled at the Irish tourism sector from 2003-2009 was that prices were simply too high. The strategy on the part of the Government and the industry has been to win back tourists by making it more affordable to come here. This strategy has paid off, with hotel occupancy rates increasing, and North American tourists at their highest level ever.
“But unfortunately, it seems old habits die hard, and the hotel industry is very quick to hike up prices at the first opportunity.
“The hotel industry needs to begin to clamp down on this kind of behaviour, and I believe that tourism bodies should seriously consider putting together a list of recommended hotels who don’t increase their prices wildly in the run up to larger events.
“I understand that hotels will make a ‘supply and demand’ argument, but the reality is that Dublin has plenty of supply, and we need to work to provide value for money. Repeat tourist business, whether it is from domestic or international visitors, is so important to our tourism produce. The industry needs to be mindful about providing value for money and building on our recent success.”