More than seven in 10 hotel rooms sold in Ireland last year were occupied by family or close relatives, with nearly half of these being sold at the “affordable” price of €600 or less.
It comes amid the Government’s efforts to re-invigorate the hotel industry.
More than 70 per cent of hotel rooms were sold by family and close relatives to adults aged 20 to 64 last year, up from 50 per cent in 2011, according to a new study.
The study by RTE found the average age of occupancy of hotels in Ireland was just 18 years old, with over half of them being rented for up to two years.
It found the majority of new hotel rooms opened in 2016 were being rented to families, with 60 per cent being rented by families.
The research was carried out by consultancy firm Hotel Research Ireland and research firm Zillow, which found that almost 80 per cent were being leased to people over the age of 55.
The report found that of the more than 40,000 hotel rooms in Ireland, only 3,000 had been rented by people aged 60 or over.
The RTE study also found that a quarter of hotel room leases were reserved for people over 60, and the majority were occupied.
The trend is expected to continue in coming years.
The Government has pledged to make the rental market more attractive by introducing new restrictions and a cap on the amount people can rent a room.
The hotel industry has also been hit by the economic downturn and its effect on the hotel sector.
There are now just over a million people living in hotels in the Republic, with the industry now down to just 4,000 hotels.
The Irish Times contacted Hotel Research, Zillot and Zillowing for comment.