Hotels suffer €90m loss due to event cancellations - report

Hoteliers are reporting over €90 million in lost revenues with many companies and organisations throughout the country cancelling events and social gatherings
Hotels suffer €90m loss due to event cancellations - report

James Cox

Hoteliers are reporting over €90 million in lost revenues with many companies and organisations throughout the country cancelling events and social gatherings as Covid cases surge.

The figure is included in the latest industry research by the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF).

Hotels and guesthouses owners are calling on the Government to provide urgent additional supports for the sector in response to the "dramatic collapse" in event bookings in the lead up to Christmas.

In normal times, January and February are slow months for hotels and guesthouses, but this slump is offset by a busy December period.

Cancellations

As a result of the recent event cancellations, the sector and broader tourism are at a "critical juncture requiring continued Government supports at current levels," according to the IHF.

In light of these challenges, hoteliers are calling for retention of Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) supports and the Local Authority Rates Waiver.

Hotel occupancy levels remain significantly down on expectations, with hoteliers reporting occupancies of just 35 per cent for December and 14 per cent across January and February.

This poses an "enormous challenge" for hotels and guesthouses as they face into an "uncertain new year and an exceptionally difficult trading environment up until June 2022".

The IHF warned that hotels are facing a "cliff-edge scenario as the Government plans to cut EWSS supports from December 1st and discontinue the local authority waiver from January 1st, 2022.

IHF chief executive Tim Fenn said: “Health and Safety remains our number one priority. As a direct result of Government public health advice, however, the trading environment for the hotels sector is now completely different to a few weeks ago. Hotels and guesthouses are taking an enormous financial hit, and this must be recognised upfront by Government in the form of urgent additional supports for our sector.”

'Cliff edge'

Mr Fenn added: “We have been repeatedly told that there will be no 'cliff edge' yet that is not what we are seeing from the Government at present.

"This is about real lives and livelihoods. Before this pandemic, over 270,000 livelihoods were supported by the tourism and hospitality industry, equating to one in 10 of all Irish jobs, with 70 per cent of these jobs located outside of Dublin. These jobs matter – not only to the people working within the industry but to the wider economy, especially the many parts of regional Ireland where tourism is the only show in town.”

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more