Local hotels too expensive, says O’Brien

Cllr Michael O’Brien has hit out at the cost of hotels in Kilkenny, but a local tourism official says there is good value on offer.

Cllr Michael O’Brien has hit out at the cost of hotels in Kilkenny, but a local tourism official says there is good value on offer.

“Is there anything you can do about the cost of hotel beds in Kilkenny?” Cllr O’Brien (Lab) asked following a presentation by Kilkenny Tourism at the monthly meeting of Kilkenny County Council.

He asked whether anything could be done to make them less expensive “than Abu Dhabi.”

“I don’t think that is particularly fair,” responded Kilkenny Tourism chairman Colin Ahern, who is also general manager of the Ormonde Hotel.

Mr Ahern pointed to a 70% occupancy rate in the city, which he described as “particularly strong.”

“Personally, I don’t think we have a problem,” he said, giving the example of a four-star hotel offering two nights, including one dinner and breakfast, for €89 per person sharing.

“If you want to come and stay in my hotel on a Saturday in July, you are going to pay €189 because everyone wants to stay there as well,” he said.

With the majority of hotels in Kilkenny being four-star, compared with the mostly three-star in Waterford, Mr Ahern said it was not accurate to compare them on price alone. “You are not looking at like for like,” he said.

Cllr O’Brien countered that “Kilkenny has to change the image of what it charges for hotels,” to which Mr Ahern replied: “We have to change the image, but the point I am trying to make is that it is not entirely true.”