As we await quarter three results from Ireland’s central statistics office, it is worth reflecting on the activity for the year.
Tourism in Ireland grew for a second quarter this year, with the number of visitors reaching the record level of over 3 million during April, May and June of this year – an increase of nearly 6% on the same period last year. Overall, over 10 million tourists visited Ireland in 2018 and 2019 looks set to be another record year. Of course, all these visitors need accommodation and the hotel sector in Ireland is expanding fast – especially in Dublin. We are proud to be part of this expansion and in the past 12 months, we have managed six hotel projects, equating to over 1000 beds. Whilst the majority of the work has been in renovating and expanding existing accommodation, recent new-build has also brought with it much-needed investment in new homes and infrastructure in Dublin.
One of the main drivers for our hotel investor and operator clients is achieving maximum levels of occupancy, so they can deliver their target return on investment. The key to achieving this is to balance the number of new rooms with the expected occupancy rate in the most cost-effective way. Our role as cost consultants is critical in optimising the proposed design to minimise construction costs, whilst achieving the Hotel operator’s target build quality and brand standards. An example of this is our management of the new-build Hotel and Residential development at Merrion Road.
Standing at eight stories high, the Maldron Merrion Road is our largest hotel development yet. This year saw the demolition of the outdated Tara Towers on which the new hotel will sit. Located in a prominent and dramatic bay-side position overlooking Booterstown Marsh and Dublin Bay towards Howth Head, this new 140-bed hotel pavilion will also see the design and construction of a 57-unit residential block. This block steps from six to four storeys, located to the west over a podium/basement car park. In addition, a terrace of five six three-storey townhouses with a four-storey seven-unit apartment building and landscaped gardens will complete this dynamic new development. In total, the residential elements of this project will provide 69 quality homes for local families.
So, not only does Ireland’s tourism boom generate revenues and spur the construction of world-class hotels, it also creates opportunities for much-needed investment in housing and infrastructure for the city of Dublin and we at Duke McCaffrey are proud to play our part.