Price Hike Reports Worry Tourism

A Lonely Planet article about rising holiday prices in Ireland is causing concern in the tourism industry.

Tourism Ireland is concerned that the article will get "amplified" across the world amid a "low but consistent number of complaints" about rising vacation bills.

Monitoring has found there is a steady level of complaints online from visitors to Ireland on social media, with 55 of 68 issues raised in a single week relating to costs, and 42 per cent of all complaints specifically about car hire.

Tourism Ireland said in a report on the sector that there was continuing "low-level feedback" on the cost of renting a car as well as hotel room costs from trade partners and on social media. However, Tourism Ireland also said this had so far largely escaped negative coverage in mainstream media.

The country-by-country special report on rising costs said trade partners in France were particularly concerned about "ongoing price and availability issues". Operators in France were seeing hotel room allocations cancelled as well as "very high weekday rates for Dublin city-centre hotels".

"Price increases in restaurants have also been flagged as a concern," the report said. "In addition, some tour operators have reported that key attractions no longer take group bookings — a critical component of a group tour for holidaymakers."

In Belgium and the Netherlands, tour operators reported issues with cancelled hotel rooms due to their reallocation for refugees from Ukraine. However, other operators said group bookings were doing "very well" and that, so far, they had been able to find alternative accommodation.

The feedback from Germany was also "still very positive" with such high interest in holidays in Ireland and the travel industry that they're actually unable to meet demand for July and August.

The special report said, "Tour operators have reported that additional costs are frequently being borne by themselves and hotels, as a proportion of these sales were booked in advance by consumers. Rental cars are a challenge in terms of cost and availability."

From the US, there was feedback about the supply of accommodation and car rental. There had also been high-profile coverage of the queue and baggage issues at  Dublin Airport.