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Shortage of hotels in cities may hit Ireland’s business tourism

24 May, 2007

Ireland is doing very well in business tourism – contributing over euros 1 billion to the country’s economy in six years. At the same time, shortage of hotels in city centers is threatening the sector.

The number of business visitors to Ireland is expected to double by 2013, up from 295,000 to 600,000, according to the business tourism forum Fáilte Ireland.

This figure, however, is facing threat on account of the current trend of hotel bedrooms being moved towards the peripheries of cities and the closure of many hotels in Dublin’s city centre.

According to Fáilte Ireland, closure of hotels will not hit the volume of bedrooms available, but it is a matter of concern that many new hotels are located on the edges of the city rather than in the city centre. This is not ideal for business tourists since city centres have traditionally been the preferred location for business travellers.

Peter Malone, chairman of Fáilte Ireland, was quoted by Irish Examiner as saying that business tourism is an increasingly important element of the tourism mix and its value goes beyond the money spent by delegates. Business and social contacts made and enhanced through the holding of events in Ireland facilitate business and trade development long after the delegates have left the country.

There are very few locations in the centre of Dublin that can cater to 1,000 people or more. This will be rectified somewhat with the opening of the National Conference Centre, says Malone. Under the National Development Plan, Fáilte Ireland is trying to identify a major historic building in Dublin city centre to be re-equipped for major event banqueting.





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