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Hotel provision in Belfast will find natural balance, says Dalata chief

By Margaret Canning

The head of Ireland's biggest hotel group, Dalata, has said he believes hotel provision in Belfast will find a natural balance after a spurt of new venues are built.

But Pat McCann, the plc's chief executive, said the company was not looking to build any more hotels here. He was in Belfast yesterday to view progress on its fourth hotel in Northern Ireland, a 237-bedroom Maldron Hotel in Brunswick Street, due to open next year.

The 41-hotel firm also owns a Clayton Hotel in Belfast and a Maldron in Londonderry, and manages a Maldron Hotel belonging to Co Tyrone builders McAleer and Rushe at Belfast International Airport. McAleer and Rushe is the company's building contractor, and is completing hotels in Newcastle in England and Charlemont, Dublin for Dalata.

Mr McCann said he had first worked with McAleer and Rushe 24 years ago in his former role at Jurys Hotel Group, when the Co Tyrone company built the Jurys Inn in Belfast's Great Victoria Street.

"We do get on well with the lads from Cookstown," Mr McCann said.

He said Belfast had been short of hotels, but that some new venues - around 20 are in the planning system - would themselves generate more tourism demand. "After that you might find banks refusing new hotels finance, so you will get a balance," he said.

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