Galway hotels asked to show price restraint

In September a major sporting attraction, the Ironman competition, will come to Galway for the first time. In fact, it will be the first time such an event has been held anywhere in Ireland. Peter Kern, a top German triathlon trainer, believes Galway is a great location for the event and said recently: “Galway has the structures to deal with lots of people. There are enough hotels and the landscape is quite famous. It was almost the natural selection for an Ironman race.”

It is expected that the event could attract as many as 2,000 visitors to Galway and generate revenues of nearly €5 million for the local economy. Indeed, as Ironman could use Galway as its base for the Irish leg of the competition for a further five years it could prove a very lucrative relationship for the city. However, at a recent meeting of Galway City Council a number of councillors expressed concerns that the hotels in Galway could be tempted to use the event to push up their prices over the first weekend in September. Labour Councillor Collette Connelly said: “It is bad for the city when hotels put up their prices for events such as Race Week. It is great that this event provides a positive alternative to the drink culture that Galway is known for. But is it too much to hope that there will be standard rates in the hotels rather than having people fleeced continuously whenever there is a major event in Galway?” These sentiments were shared by Fine Gael Councillor Frank Fahy who said that the hotels in the city should do their best to help ensure the success of the weekend so that people did not leave Galway with the sense that they had been “ripped off” during their stay.