The average price of a hotel room rose last year when compared to 2013, according to a new survey, while the percentage of rooms taken up at any one time was also higher year-on-year.

According to Crowe Horwath’s latest Irish Hotel Survey, the average rate charged for a room across Ireland was €82.29 per night – up from €77.49 in 2013.

However there was significant variation in average prices across different parts of the country.

Dublin had the highest average price at €97.25 per night – up 7.2% year-on-year – while the western seaboard was the lowest at €67.50.

Average room occupancy across the country came in at 67.8% last year – up from 65.9% in 2013 – with this rate also varying depending on location.

In Dublin the average hotel’s room occupancy stood at 77.2% last year – up slightly from 2013 – while in the midlands and east the average rate stood at 62.4%.

The survey, which is based on Irish hotels’ annual accounts, also shows that the luxury hotel market has continued to grow, with an average room rate of €159 per night and an average occupancy of 68.3%.

This is despite the growth of 'first class' hotel accommodation, which boasted occupancy of 68.7% at an average nightly rate of €81.71.

Overall, the report suggests that the average hotel’s pre-tax profit per room is continuing to grow, with the 2014 figure standing at €9,201 compared to €7,347 in 2013 and €6,497 in 2012.
 

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Crowe Horwath partner Aiden Murphy said Dublin hotels had passed a significant milestone during last year.

"For the first time in 2014 the profits for Dublin hotels are slightly ahead of pre-recession levels, where profits in hotels in the rest of Ireland are about 70% of pre-recession levels," he said.

"The Dublin market is doing very well at the moment... For the majority of the year, hotels in Dublin are full."

This improved performance has put the sector on a more sustainable footing after years of restructuring, he said, while the Dublin market now in need of some expansion. 

"The sector at the moment is sustainable but for the Dublin market we require additional rooms," he said. 

"Dublin is the gateway into Ireland in terms of tourism and we believe that we need up to 5,000 additional hotel bedrooms for the Dublin market over the next three to five years."