Statement from Elaina Fitzgerald Kane, President of the Irish Hotels Federation
“The Department of Finance’s grossly inadequate response to the immediate and unprecedented challenges being faced by tourism businesses due to Covid-19 is reckless and risks wiping out a major component of the economy.
“By only offering to waive interest on late revenue payments temporarily, the Government is threatening tens of thousands of jobs and the ability of many tourism businesses and their suppliers to survive this crisis. Our members are experiencing alarming levels of cancellations which are having a sudden and catastrophic impact on cash flow. This is affecting their ability to pay their employees, first and foremost, with lay-offs and short-time now becoming a reality.
“The impact will be devastating for much of the country considering the spread of tourism jobs, some 70% of which are outside of Dublin. For rural hotels in particular, the consequences are dire given the vital social and economic contribution they make to their local communities.”
The IHF is calling on An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe to intervene and ensure the implementation of the measures sought by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport* as a matter of urgency.
“The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport with Ministers Shane Ross and Brendan Griffin have recognised the deep crisis facing the tourism, hospitality and leisure sectors and sought Government agreement for urgent assistance for businesses that would have eased cash flow pressures. The Government must safeguard this essential indigenous industry that employs over 260,000 across every town and county, accounting for one in every 10 jobs and contributing over €9.2 billion in revenue to the economy.”