Fáilte Ireland CEO says Dublin is in "desperate need" of more hotels
The remarks have touched a nerve for many.
Speaking at the Developing Tourism 2020 conference that took place at Croke Park on Monday, Fáilte Ireland CEO Paul Kelly said that Dublin "desperately needed" more hotels to keep up with the demand for tourism.
The comment quickly provoked a backlash on social media, where many commentators noted that Dublin is currently undergoing a significant shortage of housing, as well as a homelessness crisis. Presently, there are over 4,500 individuals homeless in Dublin, including hundreds of families with children.
Additionally, the remarks come against the backdrop of the closure of well-known cultural spaces in the city, such as the Bernard Shaw and the Tivoli Theatre, which is being knocked for a hotel.
Speaking to JOE, a spokesperson for Fáilte Ireland said that the remark was made "in the context of Ireland losing out on, and not being able to compete for, significant international business events and conferences because of the lack available hotel space."
Over 600 industry reps were present for the conference, as well as Minister for Tourism Shane Ross and Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin.
According to a report issued by Fáilte Ireland last year, the number of hotel rooms in Dublin is set to increase by 5,346 by next year.
Speaking at the time, Mr. Kelly had said "we need to ensure that Dublin can cater for more visitors". However, today Kelly said he still believed that current projections show Ireland 1,000 rooms short of meeting demand.