Belfast Telegraph

Belfast hotel rooms facing greatest UK price drop

By Clare Weir

Belfast hoteliers have seen a 12% decline in room prices, according to a new survey.

It was the sharpest decline of any region in the UK and the only area to experience a double digit slump.

The findings are revealed in the bi-annual hotel survey by corporate travel agents, the Hogg Robinson Group.s

However, in a boost for consumers it also emerged that hotel rooms in Belfast are the second cheapest in the UK.

The report reveals that the average room rate in the city fell from £93.05 in the first half of 2009 to £81.70 in the same period this year. It means that hotel prices in the capital have slumped 17% in 2009 and 12% in 2010.

The only cheaper average city is Cardiff, where a room will set you back £75.72, a decline of 8% from £78.03.

London is still the most expensive place to stay at £154.18, bucking the trend among all the UK's other capital cities by showing a 1% upturn on the previous year. Heathrow Airport hotels also showed a 1% rise.

Dublin showed a 9% decrease over quarters one and two for 2009 and 2010. The average room in the Republic's capital remained at just over €119 (£99) for both quarters in 2010 and just over €131 (£109) in 2009.

But in Co Fermanagh, one hotel is bucking the downward trend, figures released today show.

Northern Ireland's only motel, Belmore Court, has achieved a record rate of occupancy at a time when hotel occupancy rates have dropped to the lowest rate since 2002 and guesthouse and bed and breakfast room sales falling by 20,000 on the 2005 level.

Located in the centre of Enniskillen, the business is celebrating 20,000 occupied bed-nights almost one year to the day after the official opening of a £2.5m expansion, including a 30-bedroom extension.

Owner, Terry McCartney, said the Belmore Court & Motel's performance had exceeded even his own optimistic predictions.

Mr McCartney added: "We have experienced particularly strong interest from corporate customers who want to provide their executives with value for money, good quality accommodation and we are looking optimistically towards the summer season with many people likely to opt for a holiday in the UK or Ireland due to the economic downturn."