Dublin hotels have been accused of ripping St Patrick’s Day tourists off by a leading travel website.

The renowned Trivago site says hotels in the Irish capital are upping their rates by up to 174 percent for the holiday weekend.

A separate report has claimed that Ireland is one of the most expensive tourist destinations in the world.

TheJournal.ie reports that Trivago’s analysis has concluded that the price of an average hotel room in the capital for Saturday 16 March, the night before the main festivities in Dublin, this year stands at almost $400 - well above the $140 average price for a room across the entire month of March.

Trivago also says that hotel rooms for this weekend, when France were in town for their Six Nations rugby clash with Ireland, saw significant price increases as well.

The average hotel room in Dublin this weekend cost $300.

The report says the inflated prices will not just hit the pockets of tourists visiting from abroad as the website claims that 55 percent of the searches for hotel rooms in the capital came from Irish internet users.

Trivago also reported 24 percent of searches were from British users, with 8 percent from Germany and 4 percent from Italy.

The Trivago figures also show that the price of the average hotel room in Dublin for March is up by 13 percent compared to February’s price. Smaller increases have applied to prices in Killarney and Galway.

The price of an average hotel room across Ireland is down by 3 percent compared to last year, with Killarney in particular seeing a drop of 13 percent.

But another report says that Ireland remains one of the most expensive countries in the world for overseas holidaymakers.

High prices for fuel, ticket taxes, airport charges and hotels see Ireland ranked 115 out of 140 countries for price competitiveness in a new report from the World Economic Forum.

Irish hotel prices were ranked 38th cheapest in the world but fuel prices were among the highest, in 126th place.

Ireland did come 19th in the World Tourism & Travel Competitiveness Index 2013 on the back of good infrastructure, clear regulations, environmental sustainability, safety and security.

Switzerland was ranked first in the world for tourism competitiveness.


O'Connell Bridge, Dublin City, on St. Patrick's Day