OVER 18,500 hospitality jobs in Cork are under threat as the industry is left reeling from the effects of the pandemic, the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) has revealed.
An estimated 100,000 jobs nationally in the hospitality industry have been lost so far this year and a further 100,000 are now at imminent risk in the coming weeks, including 18,600 in Cork, the latest IHF industry survey highlighted.
With the summer season finished, Ireland’s hotels and guesthouses are now reporting a 70% drop in projected revenues for September compared to this time last year.
Cork Chair of the Irish Hotel Federation (IHF) and general manager of The Kingsley Hotel, Fergal Harte said that the figures highlight the requirement for further sector-specific measures to support Irish tourism.
"Our industry is operating in a quasi-lockdown.
"The existing supports are totally inadequate for our industry given the current restrictions.
"If appropriate measures are not put in place, more jobs will be lost.
"Prior to the Covid crisis, tourism supported 25,300 jobs in Cork, contributing €895m to the local economy.
"With a predicted revenue loss of €670m, 18,600 of these jobs are now under threat," he said.
"A severely devastated tourism sector would be a major loss to the economy and society here in Cork for many years to come.
"This can and must be avoided," he continued.
Mr Harte said that the IHF believes that the "controlled environment provided by hotels" can "safely accommodate gatherings of significantly more than six people" and said that hoteliers are frustrated at the "lack of meaningful consultation" in advance of new restrictions being announced by Government.
"All areas of society negatively impacted by Covid-19 should be consulted, including businesses, when developing the Roadmap for Resilience and Recovery, which is due to be published on September 14.
"Public health goes hand in hand with ensuring a viable economy when this pandemic has passed," he continued.