There is a huge shortage of hotel rooms in the capital as summer holidays begin and a series of live events dominate the calendar.
At the end of June there are five major international acts taking to the stage in Dublin, including Harry Styles at the Aviva on Wednesday, June 22 with Red Hot Chili Peppers at Marlay Park on June 29.
However, there is a severe shortage of hotel rooms in Dublin for any visitors hoping to come to the capital city during that particular week.
Hotels in Dublin, which benefitted from the 9pc VAT-rate freeze, have been accused of “price-gouging” after putting up all their prices by up to 50pc in recent weeks.
On hotels.com there was not a single hotel room available in Dublin for the week of June 22 to June 29. Of more than 100 venues looked at, all of them were completely booked out. The only exception was a three-bedroom guest-house in Saggart which is 21 km from the city centre and advertised for €3,420 for the week or €489 a night.
But extortionate overnight rates for rooms are not exclusive to the hotel sector.
One private family house in Marino on Dublin’s northside is charging €22,256 for rental that week, which works out at €3,179 per night.
It has three bedrooms and two bathrooms and the advertisement on ebookers says it’s a five-minute walk to Croke Park where a visitor can go to “most concerts, football or big events”.
On Airbnb, there were mainly single rooms in private houses available during the last week in June with the average price being around €250 a night. One small room in an aparthotel close to the 3Arena is available for a hefty €1,413 a night and specifies it’s only available for a student – with ID required.
Prior to the pandemic, the live events industry in Ireland was worth an estimated €1.3bn annually. They were attended by 3.4 million people, of which over 433,000 came from Northern Ireland and overseas.
Senator Timmy Dooley (Fianna Fáil) described the current situation as a “national sabotage to the tourism industry”.
“We know there’s a shortage of hotel rooms, we know there’s peak demand and pent-up energy, we know there’s a multiplicity of concerts happening in parallel because people had tickets bought for concerts. And I think, unfortunately, some hotels are taking advantage of it,” he said.
“It’s wrong, it’s damaging the industry and it will force the Government to act. And then everyone will be tarnished with the same brush unfairly.”
He said what really upsets people is to see a mid-range hotel charging €350-€400 per night and these kind of “exorbitant prices” will put off tourists from coming here for big events.
He also queried why the last 10pc of rooms left were often more expensive.
Music PR Lindsey Holmes, who is handling the publicity for this month’s Kaleidoscope Festival in Wicklow, said many people are driving up to Dublin and back down after the concert.
“A lot of people wouldn’t be able to afford a hotel in Dublin, once they’ve bought their ticket,” she said.
She said a more cost-effective option for music fans can be attending festivals instead of one-night gigs as there’s usually an option to camp.