Belfast hotel room price down as supply catches up with demand
The price of a hotel room in Belfast has dropped by more than 5% in the space of a year, a new report has shown. The average cost of a room in 2016 stood at £91.73, down from £96.60 a year earlier.
The figures are contained in a new survey by business travel provider HRG.
It said that Belfast was coming off two strong years and now had an additional 500 beds.
"This has helped supply catch up with demand and has seen the average rate fall for the first time in two years," it said.
Along with Newcastle and Liverpool, Belfast has some of the cheapest hotel rooms in the UK.
"During the first half of the year, the UK saw a slightly stronger growth in average room rate compared to the second half," the report said.
"The market finishes 2016 almost flat with a small 0.09% growth in rates.
"Uncertainty following the EU referendum and a slowing of activity in the financial services sector could be contributing factors."
Topping the price list for hotels across the world is Moscow for the 13th year in a row.
The average price of a room in the Russian capital is now more than £265.
In Belfast, more than two dozen hotels are at various stages of planning and development.
They include proposals for five by Liverpool developer Lawrence Kenwright, including a George Best-themed hotel.
And Europa owner the Hastings Group has plans to build what would be Northern Ireland's largest hotel.
It is looking to turn the former Windsor House on Bedford Street into a 304-bed development called the Grand Central Hotel.
The project was originally to have 200 rooms, but the plans have been extended.
According to the latest official tourism figures, the number of people visiting Northern Ireland from the Republic has risen by 10%.
The number of overnight stays also increased by 1%, climbing to 4.6 million between October 2015 and September last year, the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency said.