Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland football fans face Euro 2016 misery as hotel prices soar

By Adrian Rutherford

Thousands of Northern Ireland fans heading to Euro 2016 are being hit by hotel price hikes of more than 200%.

Supporters face shelling out an average of £700 for accommodation over the three group match days.

Northern Ireland will play in Nice, Lyon and Paris next month. In Lyon, the average price of a hotel has soared to £254 - up an eye-watering 212% from last year's average of £81.

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The price relates to the date of Northern Ireland's second Euro 2016 group game against Ukraine in the city.

The costs emerged after a survey by hotel website Trivago. It analysed the average hotel price for each match in the group stage, the percentage increase from last year and hotel availability in each of the host cities.

It found that Lille was the most expensive host city for booking a room in a hotel.

Prices have increased by up to 471%, peaking at an average of £440 on June 22, when the Republic play Italy there.

The soaring hotel costs are likely to prove a sore point with members of the Green and White Army making the trip to France in the coming weeks.

Michael O'Neill's side kick off against Poland in Nice on Sunday, June 12. Hotel prices there average £236 on that night - up 115% on the £110 average seen last summer.

Meanwhile, prices in Paris on June 21, when Northern Ireland conclude their group games against Germany, are £213 on average. That is up 31% on the previous year's average of £163.

Republic fans in Paris for their side's opening game against Sweden on June 13 face an average bill of £224 - 120% up on last year's figure. Hotels in Bordeaux on June 18, when the Republic play Belgium, are up 135% to an average of £246.

Trivago spokeswoman Denise Bartlett said: "It is normal to see an increase in hotel prices for popular sports events involving multiple countries. For example, hotel prices increased by up to 1095% in Cardiff for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

"Compared to this, the price increases in France are relatively moderate, peaking at an increase of 471% in Lille."

Belfast Telegraph