Car rates

Tourism Ireland concerned about complaints over cost of Republic holidays – The Irish Times

Tourism Ireland fears a Lonely Planet article on the cost of visiting Ireland could be ‘amplified’ across the world amid a ‘low but steady number of complaints’ about rising bills from holidaymakers visiting here.

Monitoring found there was a consistent level of online complaints from visitors to Ireland on social media, with 55 of 68 issues raised in a single week relating to costs, and 42% of all complaints relating specifically to rental car.

The state agency said in a special industry report that there were continued “low-level returns” on the cost of renting a car as well as hotel room costs from the from business partners and on social media.

However, Tourism Ireland said it had so far largely escaped negative mainstream media coverage in a briefing paper.

The country-by-country special report on rising costs says that trading partners in France are particularly concerned about “persistent price and availability issues”.

Operators in France saw hotel room allocations canceled as well as “very high weekday rates for Dublin city center hotels”.

“Restaurant price increases were also flagged as a concern,” the report said. “Additionally, some tour operators have reported that major attractions are no longer accepting group bookings – an essential part of a group tour for vacationers.”

In Belgium and the Netherlands, tour operators have reported problems with hotel rooms being canceled due to being reassigned to refugees from Ukraine.

However, other operators said group bookings are doing “very well” and so far have been able to find alternative accommodation.

Reactions from Germany were also “consistently very positive”, with great interest in holidays in Ireland and the travel industry there actually unable to meet demand for July and August.

The special report said: “Tour operators have reported that additional costs are often borne by themselves and by hotels, as a proportion of these sales have been pre-booked by consumers. [when rates were lower]. Rental cars are a challenge in terms of cost and availability.

US Comments

In Spain, costs were a “hot topic”, but concerns were mainly centered on their own tourism industry rather than what was happening elsewhere.

In the United States, there have been comments about the offer of accommodation and car rental.

There had also been media coverage of the queuing and baggage issues that have plagued Dublin Airport in recent months.

In the UK, cost coverage was mainly limited to a newspaper aimed at the Irish diaspora, with national media focusing more on ‘rail strikes’.

Online monitoring had seen an increase in weekly complaints in mid-June from 56 to 68 with the level deemed “low but steady”.

The report adds: “The markets with the highest number of messages received on these topics were from Italy, Benelux [Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg] and the United States. Complaints currently represent only about 2% of weekly engagements. »

Regarding car rental, the report indicates that rental prices are an issue in many countries and continue to receive extensive media coverage.

However, while high car prices here were sometimes used as an example, Ireland was not identified “as an exception on the subject”.

Tourism Ireland was also concerned about a Lonely Planet article which warned tourists of ‘soaring hotel prices’ and that hiring a car would make a ‘significant dent’ in a visitor’s budget.

An internal email said: ‘This struck me as a top alert on Twitter so I’ll keep an eye out for it – the risk of it being amplified across countries as a tourist topic.’

A colleague responded by saying: ‘Thanks, we’ll… keep an eye out if this gets picked up in non-Irish media.’

In a briefing note, Tourism Ireland said the country-by-country report – which was published under freedom of information – was part of a weekly series prepared by its internal strategy and information team. .