Check out where I am speaking as part of the Northern Ireland Hotel Federation on Wednesday 12th September. Very much looking forward to meeting the hotels in and around Belfast and finding out the challenges they face in their local market.
The travel industry is rather small in Northern Ireland, representing just 4.7% of its workforce and contributing to 2.1% of GDP. The region expects to attract between 1.5 -1.6 million visitors in 2013. For the hotel industry there is a great opportunity to stand out, 30% of all internet searches are related to accommodation for Northern Ireland, so there is room for growth and diversity.
Northern Ireland has fared well so far in 2012 with increases in visitors, holiday-makers and tourism revenue – could this be explained as a result of the Staycation in the UK?
I am interested to learn the scenario for hotels this year, according to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) hotel room sales were up 11% in June 2012 compared to June 2011 and occupancy hitting the 78% mark, up from 70%.
It appears from the statistics that 4* – 5* hotels fared well, infact showing some strong occupancy figures. Though potentially the biggest struggle for hotels appears to be ADR, this has fallen by 1.1% in the past year, it seems that occupancy may have to give way to ADR at this point.
The leading OTAs in Northern Ireland:
Ebookers.ie: One of Ireland’s leading online travel providers and offers flights, car hire and over 25,000 hotels worldwide.
Laterooms.com: Offers over 500,000 hotel deals throughout the UK and Worldwide. EURO prices available.
Lastminute.ie: Offers a vast range of hotels and discount flights. EURO prices available.
Bookit365.com: Offers you direct access to the Hotels.ie and expedia.com range of hotels.