The Northern Ireland Hotels Federation is predicting an additional 1,074 hotel rooms will be built in Belfast over the next three years, as accommodation demand outweighs supply. The new supply will boost the city’s ability to attract and service conferences, the Federation says.
Visitors to Belfast can also expect to see a boom in premium accommodation, as the four and five-star room offering is set to increase by approximately 25%, according to the Federation.
The Federation, which represents over 85% of hotel accommodation in Northern Ireland, is also predicting a 15% growth in hotels across the region overall.
Belfast’s tourism economy has continued to grow in the last two years, with new and existing hoteliers seeking to enter and expand within the city market.
Belfast City Council has also expressed its support for more hotel development and the need for additional rooms.
Vanessa Markey, head of Great Britain for Tourism Ireland, said: “We want Belfast to become a world class, must-visit, city destination and the increase in hotel capacity goes a long way to helping us reach this goal.”
Some of the hotel companies already in the city are looking to diversify and create new opportunities through their additional brands. These include Hilton with Hampton Suites and Doubletree, Premier Inn with the Hub and IHG with Indigo.
Janice Gault, chief executive, Northern Ireland Hotels Federation, said:“Belfast’s rising occupancy rate has resulted in the city being added to a number of international hoteliers’ shopping lists. Higher end product and hotels with authentic elements are crucial for Belfast, especially so the city can attract and service conferences at the newly extended Waterfront.”
New hotels in the pipeline with significant meetings space include Titanic Hotel at the former Harland and Wolff drawing offices, City Quays, Grand Central, Bedford Street, and Blackstaff Square Hotel.