Lonely Planet’s critical review of Dublin is “factually correct” but also notes many positive things about the capital city, the chief executive of the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation has said.
A recent blog post on the website of the popular travel guide said "soaring hotel costs are wreaking havoc with holidaymakers' budgets" and that finding last-minute accommodation in Dublin "won't be easy". It recommended that tourists reserve their hotel as soon as they book a flight.
Lonely Planet also warned about rising costs in the capital. "Dublin is a notoriously expensive city and the cost of living crisis is continuing to fuel price hikes across everyday goods and services," it said.
The guide said car rental prices in Ireland were "high" compared to the European average and that Dublin pubs and restaurants were often overcrowded. "On weekends it's likely you'll have as much chance scoring the winning Lotto ticket as bagging a walk-in in a city centre restaurant," it said.
Eoghan O'Mara Walsh told RTÉ radio that “such reviews don’t help” tourism in Ireland.
He said the industry had to show that it offers a good experience at a good price. There was a need to focus on the long term, he warned. While there was “pent-up demand” at present, 2023 was “likely to be far softer”.
The article on the Lonely Planet website “doesn’t make for pleasant reading”, he said, adding: “I don’t think the headlines were fair”.
The surge of interest in travel post-pandemic meant Dublin was at capacity and had caused prices to rise, he said. But Mr O’Mara Walsh warned that if the city lost its “value proposition” it would have an impact on the tourism sector.
The difficulties experienced in Dublin currently were not unique and were happening in cities in other countries, he told RTÉ News at One.
Dublin would host 1 million visitors in the month of June while there was already a 15 per cent shortage of hotel beds because of the refugee crisis, he said.
Mr O’Mara Walsh said “excessive” prices charged by some hotels were not doing the sector any favours. The vast majority of hotels were offering good value and a good quality experience, he added.