Mayo, the only region in Ireland where hotel prices increased last year

Mayo hotelier invites Obama to Mayo

Sarah Morrissey (model) and Seamus MacCormaic, director of market management UK and Ireland for Hotels.com, announcing details of the Hotels.com Hotel Price Index. Photo: Jason Clarke Photography.

Sarah Morrissey (model) and Seamus MacCormaic, director of market management UK and Ireland for Hotels.com, announcing details of the Hotels.com Hotel Price Index. Photo: Jason Clarke Photography.

Hotel prices in Mayo increased three per cent in 2010 according to the latest Hotels.com Hotel Price Index (HPI ). The average price for a hotel room in Mayo in 2010 was €81 per night compared to €78 in 2009. This increase makes Mayo the only place in Ireland to see its room rates go up in 2010.

However, Chairman of the Mayo Hotels Federation has defended Mayo hotels by highlighting a number of points.

According to Mr Fergal Ryan, Manager of the McWilliam Park Hotel in Claremorris, the survey has to be taken in isolation. “Most of our cheapest hotels wouldn’t be advertising on this website so it isn’t an accurate picture of hotel prices in Mayo,” he told the Mayo Advertiser.

Mr Ryan, who says visitor numbers are actually up in Mayo this year, was quick out of the blocks following US President Obama’s announcement that he is coming to Ireland in May and he has already been in touch with the White House. Mr Ryan suggested the White House entourage fly into Ireland West Airport Knock and stay in the luxury of the McWilliam Park. According to Mr Ryan: “Obama’s visit is a huge boost for Irish tourism and in continuing important links with the USA.”

He added that there is fantastic value to be had in Mayo and while there was a marginal increase in prices in 2010, there was a lot of unsustainable below cost selling happening in 2009. A six and a half per cent increase in water rates in Mayo was also another huge burden for hotels Mr Ryan explained. He also pointed out that Dublin City, Cork City and Dun Laoghaire hotels are exempt from the Joint Labour Commission regulations which sets out a €9.09 minimum wage rate for hospitality workers as opposed to €7.65 for hotels in the areas not included in this agreement. “That is why hotels in Dublin appear cheaper than Mayo or Galway and this needs to be abolished as a matter of urgency,” said Mr Ryan.

He also pointed out that there is fantastic value and a fantastic product available in Mayo where visitor numbers are actually increasing this year.

According to the survey on a national level, the rate at which hotel prices are falling is beginning to slow down with prices down four per cent year-on-year compared to a 21 per cent year-on-year fall in 2009. The average hotel price in Ireland is now €79 per night.

The Hotels.com Hotel Price Index (HPI ) is a survey of hotel prices in major city destinations across the world. The HPI is based on bookings made on Hotels.com across 130,000 and 18,000 destinations, and prices shown are those actually paid by customers (rather than advertised rates ) in 2010 compared to those paid in 2009.

Seamus MacCormaic, Director Market Management UK and Ireland at Hotels.com said: “Mayo was the only place in Ireland to see a slight increase in prices in 2010. Despite this increase, Mayo is still offering great value for consumers and prices across the board have not been this good since 2004.

“Despite having a reputation as an expensive destination, Ireland is now one of the most affordable destinations in the world and Dublin one of the least expensive major cities when compared to the likes of Paris and Rome. Hotel prices across the board are still fantastic value and there are still great offers to be had in the market at the moment for price savvy holidaymakers.”

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