Hoteliers Warmly Welcome Removal of Hospitality Restrictions
- Irish Hotels Federation say news marks a “new dawn” for the tourism and hospitality industry
- Welcome assurances that businesses will not face a ‘cliff-edge’ on financial supports
- Hoteliers call for retention of Government supports until business levels stabilise
The Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) has welcomed the announcement by the Government today on the removal of COVID-19 restrictions on hospitality. IHF Chief Executive Tim Fenn described the move as a “new dawn” for the tourism and hospitality industry and the 270,000 livelihoods it supports. Acknowledging the Government’s careful stewardship of the country through the pandemic, he welcomed the assurances given that businesses will not face a ‘cliff-edge’ on financial supports, saying this gave much needed certainty to businesses trying to plan their recovery.
Removal of Hospitality Restrictions
Mr Fenn stated: “The removal of restrictions is truly fantastic news for hotel and guesthouse owners and their teams. They have endured a turbulent, uncertain and, at times, deeply stressful period as indeed have their families and the many communities for whom tourism is the only show in town. It’s very welcome news too for the many businesses up and down the country that supply our sector, many of them small employers who also rely heavily on tourism and hospitality. Meanwhile guests, including couples and families, can finally plan holidays, weddings and gatherings with much-needed confidence, certainty, and anticipation of a very warm welcome.
“However, while today is undoubtedly a good news day, tourism is not a tap that can be turned on and off at will. Hotels and guesthouses, and the wider tourism and hospitality industry face a very challenging few months ahead with a lot of uncertainty. The Government strategy of supporting the sectors most affected has worked so far, and we are very grateful for the solidarity it has shown to our industry. We urge the Government now to stay the course and continue with its supports until business levels stabilise.
“Our priority is the restoration as quickly as possible of the livelihoods of 270,000 people who worked in the tourism and hospitality industry prior to this pandemic. These jobs represent 11% of total employment nationally and, with 70% located outside of Dublin, the regional contribution of tourism is vital to communities throughout the country.
“While hotels and guesthouses are optimistic for later in the year, business and employment supports are vital in the interim, enabling them to protect employment and position themselves for recovery. The Government’s retention of the EWSS scheme for hospitality businesses is very welcome. It is critical that the enhanced levels are retained until the end February with the sliding scale until the end of May. Other supports such as a waiver on local authority rates will also be required until businesses get back on their feet.
Mr Fenn concluded: “Today is hopefully the turning point in the reopening of society and the economy. The Government has gone the distance throughout this very trying pandemic in terms of supporting livelihoods and businesses to enable recovery. Continuing that support now until business levels stabilise will underpin this great work and have a direct impact on the 270,000 livelihoods we are trying to restore across our tourism and hospitality community.