Hospitality sector calls for Government clarity and guidance around summer plans

Hospitality sector calls for Government clarity and guidance around summer plans

Clarification on what the summer will look like for the hospitality sector is being called for by Chair of the Cork branch the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) Fergal Harte.

Clarification on what the summer will look like for the hospitality sector is being called for by Chair of the Cork branch the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) Fergal Harte.

Hotel and guesthouse owners in Cork and across the country are also seeking a commitment to specific measures and supports including inter-county travel that will enable businesses to plan effectively for a safe and sustainable reopening.

Mr Harte, who runs The Kingsley Hotel in Cork city said: “With June just over a month away, hotel bookings nationally are at a historic low, currently averaging only 22% for the key months of July and August. It is critical that the Government gives clarity to consumers and businesses as a matter of urgency.” 

 The Hotelier said a detailed roadmap was needed for the reopening of the sector.

While we recognise the challenges around public health and suppressing Covid that it is facing, the ongoing lack of detail is jeopardising the viability of hotels and guesthouses as they grapple with the financial and operational commitments required to be ready to reopen after months of prolonged closure.” 

 Mr Harte said booking levels have never been this low so close to the key summer months and said these reservations are a lifebuoy for many businesses for the remainder of the year.

“Unless this is turned around quickly, there will be serious implications for the recovery of our sector here in Cork and elsewhere that could take years to remedy.” 

 The Irish Hotels Federation is calling for the Government to commit to the following measures to enable hotels and guesthouses reopen safely and sustainably:

  • Inter County Travel to be Permitted 
  • Hotels to be open to all patrons whether residents or not 
  • Capacity to be linked to function room size for events 
  • Outdoor capacity to be linked to space available 
  • Plans to be put in place for easing of restrictions for family gatherings such as weddings and christenings 
  • EU Digital Green Certificate to be adopted and plans to be put in place for other vaccinated international travellers

 “We also require a commitment on business and employment supports. While the supports to date have been very welcome, it is essential that the Government provides greater clarity and certainty now around supports into 2022 and beyond. Wait and see is not the approach for sustainable business planning and job recovery,”Mr Harte said.

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