Longford hoteliers call for urgent government measures to support tourism during Covid-19

News reporter

Reporter:

News reporter

Email:

newsroom@longfordleader.ie

Hotels Covid-19

There has been a collapse in hotel bookings on foot additional Government restrictions due to Covid-19, according to the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF)

The latest industry survey from the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) reveals a collapse in hotel bookings on foot additional Government restrictions due to Covid-19.

 

Hotel room occupancy rates across the Midlands are at 39% for September, 23% for October and 12% for November based on business currently booked.

Since the announcement on September 15 of revised Government plans for restrictions, the weekly rate of new bookings for hotels has plummeted by 67% across the country - representing an enormous blow to Irish tourism at a time when the sector is struggling under immense financial difficulties.

Meanwhile the results today from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show number of overseas visitors to Ireland for the month of August dropped by 84% year on year, demonstrating the severe challenges facing Irish tourism which would normally rely on overseas visitors for 70 percent of revenues.

Dara Cruise, Chair of the IHF Midlands Branch said: “It is now ‘make or break’ time. Urgent and unprecedented intervention from the Government is required to support tourism businesses and safeguard thousands of jobs throughout the sector. This must form a central plank of the Budget due to be announced next month.”

Prior to Covid-19, Longford and Westmeath’s tourism and hospitality industry supported 6,000 jobs and generated €87 million in revenues annually for the local economy. We are now facing a deepening crisis with 4,400 tourism jobs across Longford and Westmeath at risk this year and local tourism revenues forecast to drop by €65m as businesses fight for survival.