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Foreign business travel missing ingredient for Irish hotel recovery Dalata

By Padraic Halpin

DUBLIN (Reuters) Executives at Irelands large hub of multinational companies remain only going on a part of the foreign business trips they created before the COVID-19 pandemic, the top of the countrys largest hotel operator said.

Dalata Hotel Group, which includes the Maldron and Clayton brands, said on Wednesday a solid rebound in leisure travel following lifting of COVID-19 restrictions pushed first half revenue, average room rate and profit above 2019 levels.

LEADER Dermot Crowley said that regardless of the fall in foreign business travel, corporate demand were able to return towards levels last seen prior to the pandemic, with domestic business travel and home based business creating for the falls elsewhere.

The big unknown is that multinationals, (who have been) our big customers pre-COVID, aren’t travelling anywhere close to the same level because they were pre-COVID, Crowley told Reuters.

He said he’d carefully monitor whether Apples demand workers to partly go back to any office would result in more travel.

Ireland may be the European base for technology companies like Google, which, alongside pharmaceutical groups such as for example Pfizer and Abbott, are on the list of countrys largest employers with the sector accounting for approximately one-in-nine workers in Ireland.

Central Statistics Office data on Tuesday showed overseas arrivals into Ireland in July were 12% less than pre-pandemic levels.

Dalatas first-half 2022 revenues rose almost six-fold from the COVID-19 hammered first 1 / 2 of 2021 and were 9% greater than 2019 at 220 million euros, aided by way of a 15% rise in average room rate on the same period.

Core profit jumped 14% weighed against 2019, with like-for-like group revenue per available room (RevPAR) an integral way of measuring a hotels top-line performance up 5%. Strong trading continued in July and August with occupancy back at pre-pandemic levels.

Crowley said leisure demand looked strong for September but that the group had little visibility beyond that with most bookings typically made within six weeks of travelling.

While Dalata have not seen any effect on demand up to now from sharp rises in the expense of living, it said inflationary costs may impact consumer discretionary spending later on.

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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