• Cyril McAree

Hotels And Guesthouses Across The Country Are Facing A Loss Of Up To €270 Million Over Xmas

Hotels and guesthouses across the country are facing a loss in revenue of up to €270 million over the Christmas period due to Government restrictions. Commenting on reports that people will not be allowed to travel outside their county for much of December, Tim Fenn, Chief Executive of the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) says that this will have a devastating impact on hotels throughout the country, severely limiting their ability to trade. Only a very small proportion of hotel accommodation in December is from within the same county.

“It is clear that December and Christmas will be very different this year. But the Government must take a more balanced approach to allowing people travel outside their county to visit family. Hotels can be an important part of the solution in facilitating this by providing very safe, highly-controlled, spacious environments for people stay independent of the home setting. We have a proven safety record and urge the Government to recognise the role we can play in ensuring a safer Christmas.”

“We understand the significant challenges facing Government in reopening society in a safe way. However, there is scant difference between level three and level five restrictions in terms of how hotels can operate. What is being overlooked is that hotels are proven to be safe places. Hotels have rigorously implemented all the Government guidelines yet despite this Government is insisting on restrictions with disastrous implications for revenue and related employment within our sector.

Mr Fenn added: “Public health is always the number one priority, and this is reflected in the statistics from the HPSC, which show that hotels have been associated with very few clusters (less than 0.14%) since March – demonstrating the effectiveness of the extensive safety measures and training hotels have in place to minimise the risk from Covid-19.”

“These five weeks of trading will be absolutely vital to hotels in terms of sustaining them during the first few months of next year, when business levels will be dramatically lower.” Mr Fenn concluded.

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