Laura Loss - May 19, 2024
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Last year, tourism in Ireland experienced a significant recovery, with all types of tourist accommodations reporting higher occupancy rates compared to 2022, according to a report by Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority.

The increase in occupancy rates was observed across all sectors, mainly attributed to a resurgence in overseas visitors, particularly from North America. The report also highlighted that the split between foreign and domestic tourists is almost equal, especially among providers of self-catering accommodations, caravan parks, and campsites.

Research by Fáilte Ireland found that guesthouses were among the top performers in 2023, with room occupancy rates at 77%, up nine percentage points from the previous year. More than two-thirds of the guests were overseas tourists. The high occupancy rates in guesthouses can be attributed to their strategic locations, competitive pricing, and quality of services. Dublin had the highest average occupancy rate of 83%, followed by 79% in guesthouses along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Occupancy rates in B&Bs, where foreign tourists accounted for three-quarters of all guests, increased by ten percentage points to 64%. However, Fáilte Ireland pointed out that many providers remained closed during 2023.

The report also revealed that occupancy rates in self-catering accommodations increased by four percentage points to 62%. However, it claimed there was less "headroom" for improvement in this sector, as it had recovered faster than other providers of tourist accommodations after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Occupancy rates for self-catering accommodations increased in all regions except Ireland's Hidden Heartlands. The regions with the highest occupancy rate increase were the Wild Atlantic Way and the Ancient East, both popular tourist destinations known for their scenic beauty and cultural heritage.

The report stated that occupancy rates in caravan parks and campsites increased by four percentage points to 60% in 2023. However, the rates could have been even higher if not for persistent bad weather in late July and early August.

Hostel occupancy rates increased by six percentage points to 65% nationally, reaching 70% in Dublin.

Fáilte Ireland mentioned that the sector, which was heavily impacted by the pandemic, experienced growth due to increased international and domestic tourists. Despite the challenges, the sector demonstrated resilience and adaptability, significantly recovering in 2023.

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