Minister urges no ‘price gouging’ during RacesJuly 27, 2012 - 7:15am
BY DERMOT KEYS
A local representative of the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) has denied that Galway hoteliers are trying to “price gouge” customers during the Galway Races.
The Minister for Tourism Michael Ring urged local hoteliers to maintain the reasonable pricing policy that they agreed to for this year’s Volvo Ocean Race for the upcoming races. Some hotels in Galway have doubled their room prices for next week, with rates shooting up during the festival.
A Superior King Room in the G Hotel will cost €320 on the Wednesday of the races but it drops to just €160 for the following Wednesday. Prices in the Radisson also changed significantly from one week to the next. A standard room with breakfast included cost €300 on the Wednesday of the races but could be booked for just €154 a week later.
Chairman of the Galway Branch of the IHF, Paul Gill, has defended price increases in Galway. “We are very protective of our brand in Galway and we don’t set out to price gouge in any way,” Mr Gill said.
He pointed out that the increased prices in Galway are relatively small when compared to the prices that are being offered in London during the Olympics. He noted that the Raddisson in London was charging midweek prices of £350 for a room, with other comparable hotels charging as much as £780.
A 2008 survey found that Galway was the most expensive city in Ireland to get a hotel room, but Mr Gill pointed out that this was no longer the case.
“I believe that prices are down probably by 30-40% depending on the location,” he said.
For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.