• Cyril McAree

Hoteliers Warn Tourism and Hospitality Is The Economic Frontline Of The Covid Crisis

Hoteliers have expressed their deep disappointment at the restrictions that have been reintroduced into Dublin. Elaina Fitzgerald Kane, President of the Irish Hotels Federation said that they will have a serious impact that will be felt by businesses across the country. “The tourism and hospitality industry has become the economic frontline of the Covid crisis. Urgent Government intervention is now required in the form of additional sector specific supports for an industry that has been disproportionately impacted by the Covid restrictions. The measures announced tonight fall far short of what is required not only in Dublin but for the entire country. Prior to Covid, tourism supported 270,000 livelihoods, one in ten of all Irish jobs. Of these 100,000 jobs have been lost already and a further 100,000 are at immediate risk.”

Ms Fitzgerald Kane added: “Health and safety must always be the number one priority and we recognise the difficult balance the Government has to achieve. However, the Government roadmap does not take into consideration the controlled environment that hotels offer in hosting guests safely. There has been an enormous commitment by hotels and guesthouses to implement the operational guidelines endorsed by the HSE, HSA, HPSC and the FSAI.”

“Furthermore, public health goes hand in hand with ensuring a viable economy when this pandemic has passed. Dublin tourism businesses, including hotels, have been particularly impacted by the restrictions, with occupancy levels and revenues plummeting. Government supports have not reflected this.”

“While the effects will be felt acutely in Dublin, they will also be detrimental to many tourism businesses across the country with Dublin residents currently accounting for between 30- 50% of the domestic market. Already hotels and guesthouses across the country are reporting cancellations of up 35%, due to the drip feed of news this week about the potential lockdown. It is also very disheartening that only six hours’ notice was effectively given which shows little understanding of how our businesses operate. There must be learnings from this.”

“What is also sometimes forgotten is the significant contribution that hospitality businesses make to the wider economy. Hotels and guesthouses not only provide local employment opportunities, they buy local services, source locally produced food and provide a vital infrastructure in support of local business and communities.”

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