The Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) today announced that Denyse Campbell, a hotelier with extensive experience spanning almost 20 years, has been elected its 39th President, succeeding Elaina Fitzgerald Kane. The IHF is the leading representative tourism body in Ireland representing almost 1000 hotels and guesthouses, which employ over 60,000 people across the country.
A native of Strokestown, Co Roscommon, Ms Campbell is General Manager of the Maldron Hotel Dublin Airport. After graduating from the College of Catering in Cathal Brugha Street, she began her career as a hotelier with the Hilton Group in the United States. Following a period with Jurys in the UK, she returned to Ireland where she worked for several independent hotels and groups. In 2015, she joined Dalata Hotel Group, spending several years at the Clayton Ballsbridge before assuming her current role at the Maldron Hotel Dublin Airport in 2018.
Ms Campbell has been an active member of the IHF since 2006 and has served as Secretary and Chair of the Dublin branch, National Vice President on two separate occasions and as a member of the National Council and Management Committee. As Chair of the IHF’s Marketing Group she oversaw the launch of the immensely successful ‘Go Anywhere Gift Card’, the official gift card of the Irish Hotels Federation.
Commenting on her election, Ms Campbell said that her focus would be on rebuilding and renewing Ireland’s tourism industry after an unprecedented two years.
“A vibrant domestic and international tourism industry is a cornerstone of economic growth and job creation across the island, from Donegal to Dublin, Kerry to Kilkenny and everywhere in between. Addressing the issues facing hotels, guesthouses and the wider tourism industry – which supported an estimated 270,000 jobs pre-pandemic, one in 10 of all Irish jobs, 70% of which are outside Dublin – is crucial to rebuilding our national economy, and I look forward to working with the Government to ensure tourism remains at the heart of Ireland’s economic policy.
“As businesses throughout the country rebuild, maintaining international competitiveness via the extension of the nine per cent VAT rate for the tourism and hospitality sector will be a key priority and one I will be advocating strongly for on behalf of our members and the entire tourism industry.
“I will also be focused on the escalating business costs facing the sector, with spiralling utility costs and ongoing challenges with insurance two areas of particular attention.
“My Presidency will also place a strong emphasis on attracting, developing and retaining the next generation of talent in our industry – whether they are joining us after school or college, seeking a career change, or coming from overseas.”