Wexford hotels are improving their fortunes

David Tucker

Published 25/08/2015 | 00:00

hotels in Wexford and the rest of the region are showing continuing improvement in their fortunes, according to a report from Crowe Horwath, leading advisers to the Irish hotel sector.

The report, which is compiled from Irish hotels' 2014 accounts, reveals that key performance metrics have improved for the third year running. Hotels in the Midlands and East region, which includes Wexford, enjoyed occupancy rates of 62.4 per cent in 2014, up from 60.1 per cent on the previous year and average room rates of €79.36 in 2014, up from €76.14 in 2013.

Despite three successive years of increases, occupancy levels and average room rates locally continue to lag the headline national metrics of 67.8 per cent and €82.29 respectively.

Commenting on this year's survey, recovery and restructuring partner at Crowe Horwath, Aiden Murphy said: 'The fortunes of the Irish hotel sector improved again in 2014 with increases recorded in all key performance metrics such as occupancy, average room rate and profitability. While average room rates increased by 6.2 per cent on average last year and profit per room by 25.2 per cent, Irish hotels remain a good value proposition for both overseas visitors and domestic consumers.

'Notwithstanding recent modest room rate increases, the average rates per room remain almost 16 per cent lower than pre-recession levels. While profit levels are increasing significantly, the returns will need to be directed to much-need renovation of existing stock given that many of Ireland's hotels were unable to allocate funds during the downturn.'

Key performance metrics for the region's hotels are:

Occupancy: 2014, 62.4 per cent; 2013, 60.1 per cent and 2012, 58.5 per cent.

The Average Room Rate over the same period was €79.36 in 2014; €76.14 in 2014 and €74.28 in 2012.

Respondents to the survey identified the key drivers of growth in 2014 as:

* An increase of 8.9 per cent in overseas visitor numbers

* Weakening euro against sterling and US dollar

* GDP growth of 4.8 per cent in 2014 indicating increased domestic activity

* Improving business and consumer sentiment

Internet bookings are now the biggest source of reservations, accounting for 43.2 per cent versus 41.7 per cent for direct enquiries and, including online travel agencies, have increased by 50 per cent since 2006.

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