Gulliver Ireland Hotel Sector Review 2009
Online hotel bookings grew by 11 per cent last year where domestic tourists made six out of every ten online hotel bookings, according to the Gulliver Ireland Hotel Sector Review 2009. The Review was launched today [Tuesday, 3rd of March] to coincide with the 2009 Irish Hotel Federation Annual Conference.
The Review revealed that hotel bookings performed well through Gulliver Ireland last year. However, the company acknowledged that the hotel sector faces a very challenging year, which will affect hotels and other parts of the tourism industry. Gulliver Ireland, the cost effective provider of reservations and tourism information, is part of FEXCO.
Speaking at the launch, Dr Stewart Stephens, Gulliver Ireland's Managing Director, said, "Value is everything at present and Irish tourism has to fight to overturn its rip-off image. Hotels are doing all they can by offering tremendous value and a superb product. Everyone who is part of the tourism experience has to demonstrate real value, which is not about slashing prices. It's about showing our customers that we appreciate them, that we want them back, and that we want them to bring their friends."
The highlights of the Gulliver Ireland Hotel Sector Review 2009 were:
- 77 per cent of all Gulliver hotel bookings were made online last year, a six per cent rise on 2007
- The volume and value of online hotel bookings increased by 11 per cent and four per cent respectively
- GoIreland.com grew its bookings volume by nine per cent
- Dublin secured almost half (49 per cent) of hotel bookings across all sales channels
- Hotel bookings to the North grew by an impressive 37 per cent while the Midlands East, South East and North West regions all recorded strong growth on their respective 2007 performance
- Hotels outside the capital recorded strong online booking growth through GoIreland.com
- Domestic tourists accounted for 54 per cent of all hotel bookings, three times that of UK visitor bookings (18 per cent), which were double those of US visitors
- The average online price per night per person sharing was €59.42
- The average length of stay for online bookings was 1.65
Almost 71,000 hotel bookings were made through Gulliver in 2008, which were valued at €14.2 million, and represented almost 260,000 bednights.
Online hotel booking increases continued last year where their overall volume increased by 11 per cent. GoIreland.com, Gulliver's flagship website, underlined overall online hotel growth by recording a nine per cent jump in booking volume and 10 per cent rise in the number of bednights sold.
The average online price per night per person sharing paid by tourists and visitors for hotel rooms was €59.42, down on the 2007 average of €65.56.
Domestic holidaymakers continued as the lead source of hotel bookings across all sales channels. They outnumbered the next biggest source of all hotel bookings, UK visitors, by a factor of three. UK visitors, with an 18 per cent share, made double the level of hotel bookings than US visitors. Domestic hotel bookings grew by 10 per cent on 2007 whereas UK and US bookings fell by four per cent and two per cent respectively. The next most popular hotel bookers were visitors from Australia, Germany and Italy.
Dublin retained its leadership position as the region securing the most hotel bookings in 2008, with a 49 per cent share, which was the same as 2007. The South West, West, South East and Shannon were the next most popular regions with hotel bookers.
The most improved performances online were by the Midlands East, South East and Dublin, which grew their online hotel bookings by 20 per cent, 18 per cent and 16 per cent respectively. GoIreland.com bookings growth was marked in the Midlands East, South East, South West and West regions, which all recorded strong double digit rises. Bookings through the website for hotels outside of Dublin reached a six-year high of 62 per cent of all hotel bookings.
The top 10 counties for online hotel bookings were, in descending order, Dublin, Galway, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Clare, Waterford, Kilkenny, Sligo and Mayo.
Comparing online prices for Dublin hotels against non-Dublin hotels, Gulliver Ireland reported that the average value of each online booking in Dublin hotels was €204.37 while that of non-Dublin hotels was higher at €206.13. Tourists and visitors spent an average of 1.75 nights per booking in Dublin. For non-Dublin hotels, guests spent an average of 1.56 nights.