Surprised? Don't be: Dublin is a lot more than redheads and Guinness, as you'll soon see.
Dublin had a great 2016, and while year-on-year growth in profit per room at Dublin hotels slowed to 4.5 percent for year-to-date 2017, the city's hotels are still seeing "remarkable" growth in top- and bottom-line performance.
Dublin's profit growth grew by 30.1-percent in 2015 and 19.9 percent in 2016, so while the year-to-date growth is more subdued right now, it is still among the fastest-growing in Europe.
More good news: According to the latest PwC European Cities Hotel Forecast, Dublin is expected to have the highest occupancy levels in Europe this year.
As the turmoil of the financial crisis is finally shaken out of the sector and the opportunity funds move on in search of fresh distress, the demographics of the owners are changing, too.
PwC reported that Dublin topped the European city occupancy league in 2016 and would likely do the same this year, with an 83-percent rate expected. The city is forecast to be second, behind Porto, in terms of RevPAR growth, with 8.7 percent predicted this year and 7.4 percent next.
“Dublin is looking very positive," said Jennifer Gillen, senior manager, PwC. And while its high occupancy rate deserves plaudits, it also signals that the city is in need of more inventory, something Gillen backed up. "One of the big issues with Dublin over the past 10 years has been the lack of new supply coming on stream," she said.
And while it could take some time, new hotels are expected to open. “Pre-recession and during the era of tax incentives, there were a lot of new hotels being built, some of which, outside Dublin, had no business case. Then, over the past 10 years, only a few hotels were built in the city, and now there are a lot of hotels in planning,” Gillen said.
Looking ahead, HotStats predicts that Dublin's hotels will have to fight to maintain top-line performance, as the city is poised to get at least 18 new hotels over the next three years with 1,610 bedrooms. (Among these are the 202-guestroom Aloft Dublin City and the 178-guestroom Clayton Hotel Charlemont.)
For now, the growth in top- and bottom-line performance remains considerable, with a 48.6-percent increase in RevPAR recorded over the last 36 months, fueling a 77.5-percent increase in profit per room, to €79.40 in the 12 months to February 2017.