Future of hotel industry in Ireland. Future travel, tourism, corporate hospitality Futurist speaker

Future of hotel industry in Ireland. Future travel, tourism, corporate hospitality Futurist speaker


I’m here at the Irish Hotels Federation
in Dublin, where we’ve been looking at the future of hotels, hospitality and the travel
industry. Tourism in Ireland is worth 7 billion euros. We’re talking about 200 thousand jobs, around 4.5 percent in terms of GDP, that’s if you include all those who
work in hotels, guesthouses, and associated industries. So it’s a really important part of the Irish economy which is why this morning, we had a government minister open the
conference. We have another government minister this afternoon and we have the Prime Minister of Ireland tonight. And Ireland has seen, despite
the downturn, some really encouraging things happen. For
example, in 2013, there was a huge national and
international marketing initiative called ‘The Gathering’ which, promoted people who were Irish, or have Irish connections around
the world to come back and enjoy a gathering with festivals, with family
members, with their ancestral heritage, with whatever pulled them most. And they saw, overseas
visitors up 7 percent, U.S. visitors were up 15 percent. There were, as a contribution of tens of millions of euros to the Irish economy through the gatherings. There were over 5 thousand different gatherings and fesitvals rules and things that took part of that whole gathering phenomenon. It was a people movement in 2013. Now it would be a struggle to
follow that but already plans are in place to do
something similar in five years time. Now, if we look back to the situation in terms of hotel
construction before the Crash, from 2004 to 2008, was around a 33 percent growth in the
number of hotel rooms that were made available across the Republic of Ireland. We’re talking about around 6 thousand, 8 thousand new rooms, but demand only rose 13 percent. So there’s been a glut of capacity,
there’s been a big overhang of debt inside their hotel industry and so on. 70 percent of these beds are filled each night by people who are from Ireland
and 30 percent come from outside the island. But things are changing. If you
look on the streets of Dublin today, if you were, let’s say, trying to organise a big
corporate event then you may struggle to find 200 rooms on a particular date. Competing with all kinds of other events and festivals and things like that. So occupancy is coming
back, which is really very encouraging.

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