Hastings Hotels Enquiries Jump As Reopening Date Announced In Northern Ireland
Following the decision by the Northern Ireland Executive to confirm a reopening date of July 20th for hotels in Northern Ireland, Howard Hastings, Managing Director of Hastings Hotels warmly welcomed the decision.
“People on the island of Ireland spend £4 billion annually on overseas summer holidays and we are delighted to have the opportunity that now exists to persuade them to try somewhere new, at home. The Executive’s decision to reopen hotels on July 20th, announced by Economy Minister Diane Dodds, has unlocked that opportunity. As a result, our enquiry level has already jumped" said Dr. Hastings.
"I am very pleased that Minister Dodds, who has been working closely with hospitality industry bodies, has presented compelling evidence to the Executive in order to confirm this reopening date. This allows time for families, North and South, to make their holiday plans with confidence this summer. It also allows hotels time to prepare for guests and at the same time comply with the social distancing and additional hygiene regulations that will be required.
There has never been a better time. There will be no queues at visitor attractions, and the hotels that do open will in all likelihood not open all their bedrooms to comply with regulations.
Surveys suggest that there are 2 ½ million people in the Republic of Ireland who have never spent a night in Northern Ireland. We will be working with Tourism Northern Ireland to persuade these people to visit for the first time, and to persuade others to return.
We are aware that this season will be unlike any other. With so few flights coming to Ireland from Great Britain and overseas, there will not be the usual influx of visitors on escorted coaches. We will not see cruise liners in Belfast Lough, and we cannot expect the conferences, concerts and sporting events which generate so many room nights in a normal year.
We thank the Minister for her commitment to the hospitality industry for the potential it holds as it looks to rebuild following the Covid crisis.”