Published 21 August 2020

Regional Hotel Bookings Bounce Back 969% as City Hotels Struggle

Country hotels are leading the recovery for the Irish hospitality industry as domestic tourists flock to the rural locations for holidays and staycations this summer 2020.

Revenue Strategies Booking Stats

Staycations Country vs. City Hotels

Country hotels are leading the recovery for the Irish hospitality industry as domestic tourists flock to the rural locations for holidays and staycations this summer.

According to our latest data, hotel booking revenue plummeted 90% across the board when Ireland was plunged into lockdown at the end of March. Since that low point, regional and country 'destination' hotel booking revenue has bounced back 969% to the middle of July, whereas city hotel bookings grew by 372% during the same period - almost two thirds less.

These figures show the strength of the recovery that domestic tourists have driven for regional and country hotels, where average weekly booking revenue is now greater than it was before the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

For the four-week period from 22nd June to 19th July, average weekly booking revenue was up almost 120% on that recorded in January, which was a strong month for hotel bookings. In contrast, city centre locations were down by 51%.

The figures demonstrate how city centre locations are struggling to recover without the international tourists and business travellers.

Quote From Our CEO

Phelim, our CEO, said: "The level of bookings hotels receive in January and July is normally very similar. This year, January was a strong month for bookings so for regional and country hotels to be beating those levels in June/July shows the impact that domestic tourists are having this summer." 

"It’s also interesting that a lot more people are booking direct through hotel websites, as opposed to through an Online Travel Agent (OTA) such as This suggests that the market is almost all Irish and they are familiar with the hotels they are choosing to stay in. Direct bookings are more valuable for hotels – and they are always stronger among hotels where guests know and recognise the brand."

Quote From Our Clients

Patrice Lennon, Head of Sales and Marketing at Dalata Hotel Group, said that while regional hotels were driving the recovery for their Clayton and Maldron brands, lower occupancy rates in city hotels means there is terrific value to be had.

"Before Covid-19, our average occupancy rate was 90 to 95% across the group. Since fully reopening our hotels at the end of June the occupancy rates has climbed back up to around 60% overall – but the stronger performing hotels are all in regional or ‘destination’ locations, such as Sligo, Wexford and Galway."

"Our Dublin hotels are averaging around 20-25% occupancy due to the drop off in international business and tourist visitors. The good news for domestic tourists is that this means there are room rates from €89 per night for a double room in Dublin – some of our lowest ever rates."

The O’Callaghan Collection group of hotels started reopening their four Dublin hotels from 10th August. Group Commercial Director Tanya Hadwick said there has never been a better time for an affordable break in the city.

"The sheer volume of hotel rooms in Dublin means there are very attractive rates to be had. We have an occupancy rate of just 15% for September at this rate. Reduced occupancy means there are more lower-priced rooms available for guests booking now. When occupancy rates rise there will be fewer of these rooms available. With everything on offer in the city, it really is a terrific time to visit."