Dublin Hotel News October 2013
Welcome to Dublin Hotel News which is a FREE Newsletter that keeps industry stakeholders up to date about what is happening in the industry. In June 2013 the CSO issued up to date data on overseas visitors to Ireland, the figures showed that between January and June 2013 there was a 5.4% increase in overseas visitors when compared with figures from 2012. These figures were welcomed by the industry in general and also by the Minister for Tourism Mr Leo Varadkar.
Recommended Accommodation in Dublin City Centre:
The increase in overseas visitors have been attributed to the global campaign relating to The Gathering initiative, and this may well be the case, however, it is also a fact that the numbers have increased as many global economies begin to see light at the end of the recession tunnel.
The CSO figures on Overseas Travel showed:
At almost 3.145 million visits, overall trips to Ireland were up 5.4% in the first six months of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012. For the three-month period from April to June 2013, overseas trips to Ireland increased by 4.2% to 1.893 million trips.
Visits from Mainland Europe grew by 7.9% for January to June 2013, to 1.149 million visits and by 4.9% for the April to June period (705,200 visits).
North America registered an increase of 15.4% for January – June 2013 (519,600 visits) and of 14.8% in the April – June 2013 period (350,800 visits).
However, visits from Great Britain were unchanged for January – June 2013 (1.297 million visits) but fell slightly 1.1% for the three months from April to June 2013 compared to the corresponding period of 2012 (726,900 visits) reflecting on-going difficult economic conditions there.
Visits from the rest of the world, mostly long-haul and developing markets, totalled 178,900 for the first six months of 2013 (representing an increase of 5.7%) and 110,100 for the three months from April to June alone (representing an increase of 5.9%).
Online Travel Agents (OTA) Commissions
Accommodation vendors may well have welcomed the increased numbers of overseas visitors to Ireland, however, those same vendors did not welcome the increased strangle hold on their businesses by OTAs and their exuberant commissions. While many large accommodation providers have simply given up the fight to try and take back their online business activity from the OTAs, more and more independent SMEs have started to fight back with astonishing results.
Gardiner Street Dublin is one of Dublin’s best known accommodation districts and it would be here that SMEs would unite and launch a counter attack against the OTA Giants and refuse to be subject to an online Lockout by aggressive OTA marketing campaigns backed by tens-of-millions of US Dollars.
A number of professional accommodation vendors came together to form The Gardiner Street Accommodation Cooperative an initiative that would see hard working property owners come together to share ideas and engage in joint marketing strategies, such as their unique Gardiner Street Gathering Event in August which seen local businesses, staff and international guests enjoy a wine and cheese reception, BBQ, FREE Bus tours and an evening of traditional Irish music and hospitality.
On the financial side one local accommodation vendor said: “On our own we were struggling to get direct bookings on our own websites where we pay a small commission rate to the supplier of the booking engine. Up to 90% of our business was coming through OTAs which charge 15-25% on each booking made through their booking engines. Since we came together and formed The Gardiner Street Accommodation Cooperative less than 20% of my business comes through the OTAs, this means that I have been able to take on extra staff and invest more in my product and services”.
Many of the successful elements of the Gardiner Street Accommodation Cooperative marketing campaign were based on hard facts, for example, based on CSO stats relating to domestic trends in 2012, Irish expenditure on overseas holiday/leisure/recreation trips fell by 3.4% while expenditure on journeys for ‘Other’ purposes fell by 38%, this meant that the potential existed to tap into a domestic market that was no longer spending so much on its foreign travel, they targeted the Irish Family market for Staycation Packages. firstname.lastname@example.org
SAVE VAT at 9%
There is much speculation that in Budget 2014 the 9% VAT Rate introduced for tourism in 2011 will be increased to its original 13.5%, such a move would have a very negative impact on the tourism industry and the increase would be the equivalent of €450 extra VAT on every €10K earned. Industry stake holders including the Government have accepted that the 9% VAT rate has helped to create and sustain thousands of service sector jobs.
It is essential that Budget 2014 continues to support the many positive policies and initiatives that have helped Ireland to regain its foothold in the global tourist market, an increase in the 9% VAT Rate could see tourist thinking twice before returning to what could once again be perceived as rip-off Ireland.