Hoteliers in the Republic of Ireland enjoyed another year of growth in 1997, but those in the North suffered a small decline, according to the latest hotel survey by consultant Horwath Baston Charleton and the Bank of Ireland.
Hotelkeepers in the South boosted average pre-tax profits per room by £353 to £4,428 while Northern Ireland hotels saw them fall by £108 to £3,661. Average room rates climbed more steeply in the South (up £5.05 to £53.66) than in the North, up £1.53to £48.91.
While occupancy levels in the Republic were practically static at 70%, this was against a growth in hotel numbers from 717 to 730, and in the number of bedrooms from 26,400 to 27,200. This year is expected to see another 4,100 new rooms and a 9% growth in revenue.
Occupancy levels in the North fell fractionally to 57.9% from 58.3%, partly due to a decrease in visitors from the Republic because of the strong pound and political uncertainty. The recent peace agreement is expected to improve performance in 1998.