Hotel occupancy, average room rates and profitability across the sector all rose strongly in 2015, according to the annual Crowe Horwath Hotel Industry Survey.

Based on 2015 accounts filed by hotel owners, the accounting firm has compiled figures showing the average hotel occupancy rate nationally rose just over 3% to 71.1% last year.

That compares with a low of just 59.4% in 2009.

The average room price for a hotel in Ireland was €92.15 – representing a 10.6% year-on-year increase.

However, due to strong demand from US visitors to Ireland, five-star hotels here have attained an average rate increase of €23.94 to €181.08 per room, or a 14% annual increase.

January has the lowest monthly average room rates at €76.81, while the monthly average room rate rises to €106.19 in August.

The survey illustrates what is still a marked difference in performance and profit in Dublin compared to the rest of the country, with occupancy rates in the capital at over 80%.

However, the study found Dublin hotels are more dependent on room sales than hotels in the rest of the country, with 55.1% of revenue derived from that income stream.

Rooms account for just 27.4% of turnover in the midlands and east of the country, while the figure for the south is 38%, and 36.5% in the west.

Commenting on the figures, Partner at Crowe Horwath Aiden Murphy said: “Although these increases may be perceived as excessive, hotels have endured a number of challenging years resulting in an inability to invest in existing facilities.

“The return to profitability now provides hotels with the scope to embark on much needed refurbishment projects, and invest in new capacity.”