As 2022 moves further into spring and the summer months draw nearer, many markets around the world are seeing pent-up travel demand bolstering their hotel occupancy on the books. A good example can be found in Belfast, where the growing desire to travel and a variety of big-name events are leading to a positive performance outlook for hotels in Northern Ireland’s capital.

This latest update from STR’s Forward STAR shows the many ups Belfast hoteliers can expect in the next year.

May is busy with music

When examining Belfast’s forward occupancy, we see how two world-renowned performers, each appealing to very different audiences, are helping to attract a plethora of overnight guests to the city. On 12-13 May, the capital city acts as host to Ed Sheeran as he delivers his “+ – = ÷ x Tour” to what is expected to be a sold-out Boucher Playing Fields. The English singer/songwriter’s impending arrival is causing future occupancy levels to reach 84% on his opening night in Belfast followed by 87% on 13 May.

Also, likely to be contributing to these occupancy levels, is the arrival of Dutch maestro André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra, also performing on 13 May.

Later in the month, on 28 May, it is the arrival of Queen + Adam Lambert on the SSE Arena stage that is causing demand to rise. Occupancy on the books for the night of the show is already sitting at 83%.

As we move closer to these events, occupancy levels should rise even further.

Weekend highs

During the next 365 days, Belfast shows promising performance trends across weekend periods. This can be observed by the peaks in bookings occurring primarily on Saturday nights, showing guest preference toward short, weekend stays. This trend is not just limited to the short-term, as a date like 17 September is already sitting at 45% occupancy on the books.

Despite the positive trends shown on Friday and Saturday nights, it remains a need for many hoteliers to increase the number of heads in beds throughout weekdays. This is a struggle for many regions as business travel continues to lag in recovery from the pandemic.


As we move into the months most popular for inbound travel to Europe, it is to be expected that hotel demand levels will increase. However, Belfast stands out from the crowd with significant peaks over the next three months.

This positive performance, which can be linked to weekend getaways and high-profile performers, looks likely to continue well into the rest of 2022. This news will be warmly welcomed by many hoteliers in the region.

An element of STR Benchmarking, Forward STAR completes the picture and adds to a hotelier’s historical view the future trends in demand and shifts in bookings affecting their market. Learn more about Forward STAR.