herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

Leinster ripped off as hotel prices are tripled for match

HOTEL rooms in Limerick have increased in price by almost three fold in advance of Good Friday's invasion by Leinster fans.

The National Consumer Agency (NCA) today warned Blues supporters to "vote with their feet" and ignore hotels and pubs where prices are dramatically hiked.

Thousands of fans from Leinster will converge on Limerick for Friday night's Magners League clash, with many facing price hikes.

The starkest rise in the price of a room came at the four star Clarion Hotel, which has risen to €200 from its normal €79 rate for a Friday night.

And Limerick city's only five star hotel, the Savoy, has advertised its prices, increasing their charges from €129 to €215 overnight, and back to €129 by Saturday night again.

The NCA has criticised the hoteliers for taking advantage of Friday's big game.

"The NCA always finds it disappointing that businesses might seek to take advantage of major events or circumstances to raise their prices to consumers, however it is ultimately a consumer's own decision whether to give their custom to such a business or not," a spokesman told the Herald.

"Only by voting with their feet can consumers demonstrate dissatisfaction, whether it relates to poor customer service, unacceptable product quality or pricing related matters."

When the Herald queried a number of Limerick's most exclusive hotels they admitted that they had increased room prices for the game A spokesperson for the Clarion Hotel, which saw the biggest rise, said: "Our rates fluctuate depending on demand, we have a very limited number of rooms available and our rates go up once we have sold a certain number of rooms.

"There has been a lot of demand for rooms this Friday."



BOUTIQUE

A spokesperson for the Strand Hotel price explained that the Magner's League clash caused their room price to go from €85 to €149.

"There's a match on in Thomond Park -- Munster against Leinster and the rooms are in greater demand so we've had to increase the price," she said.

The George Boutique Hotel, which is part of the Lynch Hotel Group, hiked their price from €64 to €154 "There's a rugby game on and we've only got a few rooms left," said a spokesperson for the hotel.

"The whole city will be very expensive that day."

The Mayor of Limerick has said he was "disappointed" and planned to raise the issue in due course.

"I'd be very disappointed if that was the case, that certainly wasn't our intention when we applied for the exemption," said Mayor Kevin Kiely.

"I'd be extremely disappointed to hear that hotels had upped their prices on Good Friday.

"It's something I'll certainly be taking up with the local hotel federation.

"I don't know whether it's policy but it is definitely sending out the wrong message."

hnews@herald.ie

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