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Brexit rains on Kerry hoteliers’ summer season

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HOTELIERS and guesthouse owners in Kerry and across the country are reporting a continued fall in business levels from the UK this summer according to the results of the latest quarterly barometer from the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF).

While business levels overall were up nationally across the summer months, with seven in ten hoteliers (71%) seeing an increase compared to this time last year, most (69%) reported a fall in business from Great Britain with over half (54%) saying Northern Ireland business levels had dropped too.

The results of the industry barometer echo the latest CSO figures which show that Brexit is already having a significant impact on Irish tourism. Visitor numbers from Britain have decreased by 7.1% for the first eight months, compared to the same period last year. The UK, Ireland’s largest source of inbound tourists, accounts for over 40% of all visitors, providing the widest regional and seasonal spread.

For now, strong performances by the US and domestic markets are helping to offset the significant fall-off in business from the UK. The majority (69%) of hoteliers reported an increase in US business this summer, while almost six in ten (57%) said domestic levels are up. Business levels from these markets look set to remain buoyant for the remainder of the year with many hoteliers (52%) saying advance bookings from the domestic market are up with promising increases from the US (43%) as well as Germany (26%) and France (19%). However, over half (56%) say future bookings from Northern Ireland are down, while nearly two thirds (65%) see a drop in advance bookings from Great Britain.

The general outlook for industry over the next 12 months remains positive, according to the survey, although hoteliers’ optimism has been dented. Most say the weakened value of sterling is already affecting their business and Patrick O’Donoghue, Chair of the IHF’s Kerry branch says the uncertainty around Brexit poses a real threat to the tourism industry, with regional tourism likely to be hit hardest. Tourism currently supports 11,000 jobs in Kerry and contributes some €508m to the local economy annually.

“Many of the consequences of Brexit are largely outside our control, so it is imperative that we mitigate the risks and potential damage where we can. We are calling on the Government to take the necessary steps to protect Irish tourism and to avoid any changes in policy that would weaken our sector’s ability to deal with the risks it faces due to Brexit. The 9% VAT rate for tourism, in particular, continues to deliver enormous benefits to the exchequer by making us more attractive as a tourism destination,” he said.

Mr O’Donoghue added: “The overall rate of tourism growth is also continuing to slowdown, which is worrying. The cuts to marketing funding and development in the recessionary years should also be reversed urgently so we can entice more visitors from new and existing markets and particularly to the regions. Time and time again, Irish tourism has shown itself to be an excellent investment for every euro spent in destination marketing,” he added. Many (64%) hoteliers plan to increase their own marketing spend as they increase their efforts to grow their business both at home and abroad.

The tourism industry as a whole supports approximately 230,000 jobs - equivalent to 11% of total employment in Ireland, making it the country’s largest indigenous industry.

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Applecroft B&B named in Ireland’s Top 10

By Michelle Crean What a better way for a local business to celebrate its silver jubilee than to be named in the Top 10 places to stay in Ireland especially as they prepare to reopen after the pandemic. Owners Kathy and Don Brosnan, who run Applecroft House in Woodlawn, were named number 6 in Ireland’s […]

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By Michelle Crean

What a better way for a local business to celebrate its silver jubilee than to be named in the Top 10 places to stay in Ireland especially as they prepare to reopen after the pandemic.

Owners Kathy and Don Brosnan, who run Applecroft House in Woodlawn, were named number 6 in Ireland’s Top 10 B&Bs for 2022 by the Irish Independent ‘Reader Travel Awards’ while Ireland’s Best B&B was named as Dingle’s Pax House.

The couple began their business in 1997 and are very happy with the feedback from visitors who voted for their B&B, especially after two difficult years.

“I’m thrilled, especially as we’re celebrating our silver jubilee this year,” Kathy told the Killarney Advertiser.

The couple built their house in the early ’80s and aptly named it ‘Applecroft’ as it was built in a field which has an orchard.

In the late ’90s they opened five spacious rooms up, each with its own theme; 
‘Poet’s Corner’, ‘Past Times’, ‘The 19th Green’, ‘The Race-goer’s Club’ and ‘The Kerry Way’, for guests as Kathy, who worked in The Europe Hotel and the Great Southern Killarney for many years, had a passion to bring a great stay experience to guests visiting Killarney. They kept themselves busy planting in their two acre garden during the pandemic.

They have won numerous awards over the years and have had film crews in but this latest award is the icing on the cake for the couple who are looking forward to reopening in late March.

“It’s amazing, and a bonus especially with the two years we’ve had. We’ve never experienced anything like that. It was “wow” – we were preparing to reopen on St Patrick’s Day that year and all of a sudden everything closed down on the 16. It was a big shock.”

Don creates amazing bread and scones which guests rave about, she added.

“I was delighted as we came tenth for breakfast and sixth for the B&B.”

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Tributes paid to life-long Legion supporter

By Sean Moriarty Legion GAA Club has led tributes to one of their most ‘fervent’ supporters who passed away on Tuesday. Described as one of the town’s ‘old stock’, Tim Looney from Coolgraine Park and late of Daltons Avenue, was a central part of Killarney’s rich sporting heritage. As well as a life-long supporter of […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Legion GAA Club has led tributes to one of their most ‘fervent’ supporters who passed away on Tuesday.

Described as one of the town’s ‘old stock’, Tim Looney from Coolgraine Park and late of Daltons Avenue, was a central part of Killarney’s rich sporting heritage.

As well as a life-long supporter of Legion, he played basketball in the famous town leagues of the 1970s and the seven-a-side soccer ‘Wipeouts’ competitions.

“He was a very proud Legion man and always flew the green and white flag out his window whenever the club was playing in a big game,” PRO Enda Walshe told the Killarney Advertiser. “He was a fervent loyal club supporter but was also one of the characters of the winter basketball leagues.”

Tim was also a regular participant in Dart Pub Leagues back in the 1970s and 1980s.

Tim’s funeral took place today (Friday). He was laid to rest at Killarney Burial Ground after 10am Mass St Mary’s Cathedral.

Tim is survived by his wife Nuala, his children Joanne, Paudie and Timmy, and was a much loved grandfather to Stephen, Makaela, Chloe, Padraic, Keelan, Alex and the late Lorna. He will also be sadly missed by his daughters-in-law Margaret and Sharon, son-in-law Tony, sisters Kathleen, Sheila and Ann, brothers Lewis-John and Paddy, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews, relatives, neighbours and many great friends.

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