Hotel room rates in Ireland got more expensive last year and are now at their highest since 2008.

The average room price in Ireland is now €90 per night, up 5% year-on-year.

Figures from's Hotel Price Index show that average prices in Dublin grew by 8% to €90.

Killarney is Ireland's most expensive destination at €101 per night.

Prices in Belfast rose by 18% to €90. The Titanic Experience opened in Belfast last April, while Portrush in Co Antrim hosted the Irish Open at the end of June.

The index shows that Limerick is Ireland's least expensive destination at an average of €67 per night.

Galway is the second most expensive destination, with prices up 3% to an average of €100.

Irish Hotels Federation President Michael Vaughan has defended the rise in hotel prices.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr Vaughan said many hotels in Ireland are still struggling to service the debts on their properties, and there would be some movement on price.

He said: "In order for hotels to be profitable, profit needs to be made and we need to be able to reinvest. We've had the lowest prices in Europe and that can't be sustained forever."

Mr Vaughan also said there is a skills shortage at the moment and the industry is seeking to train approximately 3,000 new people a year due to natural attrition.

He said at present there was no place within existing Government agencies to help train the staff.

"We wanted to play our part fully in bringing people off the live register into our industry. Unfortunately we've had to go other routes to find these staff," he said.