Hotel bookings worryingly low for summer months
Hotel owners in have raised concerns for the season ahead after a new survey revealed that summer bookings are at an all-time low.
They have also raised concern at the number of cancelations and have said that through the month of February they had no net new booking.
The Kerry branch of the Irish Hotels Federation has said the sector is effectively at a standstill with no net new bookings as cancellations wipe out any new business.
Hotels and guesthouses in Kerry and across the country are now facing enormous uncertainty without much-needed clarity and additional supports from the Government.
The IHF has urged the Government to provide a significant increase in sector specific supports for tourism businesses as a matter of urgency with hotels and guesthouses nationally reporting booking levels of just 22% for July and 20% August which are usually the key summer months that act as a lifebuoy for many other months of the year.
“The domestic market was very important to the Irish hotel sector last year and we expect that booking levels will improve. However, in the meantime, businesses have to plan. The Government may not be able to provide assurances as to when society will reopen, but they can give much needed certainty and reassurance around business and employee supports. With Kerry hotels facing a prolonged period of closure and related cash burn, this piecemeal approach is hugely frustrating and detrimental for hotels and their teams who, along with the rest of the tourism and hospitality sector, have been disproportionately impacted by Covid restrictions,” said Bernadette Randles, Chair of the Kerry branch of the Irish Hotels Federation.
“Specifically, we are seeking increases in payments under the Covid Restrictions Supports Scheme (CRSS) with a doubling of payment amounts irrespective of the level of Covid restrictions as well as removal of the current €5,000 weekly cap. We estimate that 44% of hotel bedroom stock nationally is excluded from CRSS entirely, and this must be resolved as a matter of urgency.”
“Enhanced employment subsidies are also necessary. We also ask the Government to intervene with the banks to ensure they have appropriate supports and engagement processes in place for hotels and their team members until the pandemic has passed. Hotels also require a clear commitment from the Government to retain the 9% tourism VAT rate. Many hotels are already contracting for international business up to two years out. Tourism is highly competitive, yet they have no pricing certainty in relation to the retention of this critically important VAT measure and this could hamper their recovery.”
“Hotels are focussed on restoring employment levels as quickly as possible and the best way to ensure that is to support the businesses. It is critical that we get certainty around supports for business recovery. We cannot afford any delay if businesses are to have a fighting chance of survival. Prior to the pandemic, some 15,700 livelihoods were supported by tourism and hospitality here in Kerry with the sector contributing €592 million to the local economy. A severely devastated hotels sector would be a major loss to Kerry’s economy and society for many years to come. This can and must be avoided,” Ms Randles added.
The IHF survey was carried out on March 8-10, and the results are based on the response of 303 properties with 31,150 guest rooms spread across the country
Green light for teen accommodation
By Michelle Crean Plans for sheltered accommodation to house homeless teenagers in foster care have been given the go ahead. An Bord Pleanala has approved a three-storey building in Flemings Lane just off High Street, which will have eight bedrooms, two one bedroom apartments and one two bedroom apartment. The teens living within the premises […]
By Michelle Crean
Plans for sheltered accommodation to house homeless teenagers in foster care have been given the go ahead.
An Bord Pleanala has approved a three-storey building in Flemings Lane just off High Street, which will have eight bedrooms, two one bedroom apartments and one two bedroom apartment.
The teens living within the premises will be supervised by applicant Eileen O’Brien who will live on the ground floor of the premises.
The two one-bed apartments on the second floor would either be rented out or used for independent living for the teenagers as they reach adulthood.
The two-bed apartment will be on the third floor. There are also plans for balconies at second and third floor levels.
The proposed apartment building is contemporary in design with a mix of stone and render finish on the lower floors and synthetic burned timber finish on the upper floors. The second floor is recessed at the front and the third floor is recessed at the front and the rear with a decorative feature on the front elevation comprising dark grey timber steel poles. The building will also have a flat roof.
Planning permission was granted subject to 14 conditions including a two-metre high boundary wall to be constructed on south, south-western boundaries of the site and there’s to be no overnight commercial guest accommodation.
Fans return to Fitzgerald Stadium after eight months
By Sean Moriarty Officials from Fitzgerald Stadium remain hopeful that crowd capacity at the venue can be increased to 500 spectators in time for the Munster final on July 25 – subject to both national health guidelines and Kerry qualifying for the game. Last Saturday evening’s National League semi-final between Kerry and Tyrone was the […]
By Sean Moriarty
Officials from Fitzgerald Stadium remain hopeful that crowd capacity at the venue can be increased to 500 spectators in time for the Munster final on July 25 – subject to both national health guidelines and Kerry qualifying for the game.
Last Saturday evening’s National League semi-final between Kerry and Tyrone was the first game at the stadium since the 2020 Kerry Petroleum Intermediate Club Football Championship Quarter-Final when Glenbeigh-Glencar played Beaufort on October 4 last year.
Due to current restrictions only 200 fans were allowed attend Saturday’s big match. That will remain in place for Kerry’s opening Munster Championship tie with Clare on June 26.
“It had been more than eight months since Fitzgerald Stadium welcomed back fans to the venue,” stadium PRO Tatyana McGough told the Killarney Advertiser. “Everything went exceptionally well.”
She is hopeful that more restrictions will be eased on July 5, paving the way for an increase in capacity to 500 fans in time for the July 25 Munster Final.
“It is likely that from July 5 up to 500 spectators may be permitted to attend games. We hope this number will increase for the Munster Final. If it is a Cork versus Kerry Munster Final the game will be fixed for Sunday July 25 at 4pm in the Fitzgerald Stadium. The stadium’s staff are very confident in being able to host any number of fans that may be allowed.”
Garda appeal to park legally at beaches and public amenities
An Garda Siochana is appealing to the public to park legally in designated car parks and spaces when visiting beaches, beauty spots and other public amenities.
The good weather has seen an increase in dangerous illegal parking at these locations across the country in recent weeks. An Garda Siochana wants people to enjoy the summer but do so safely.
Parking illegally can lead to unnecessary risk and dangers such as pedestrians being forced to walk along dangerous roads. It can also prevent emergency services from gaining access to these amenities a seaside locations which could lead to the loss of life.
“We encourage the public to plan their journeys and think safety first when parking your vehicle,” the Gardai said in a statement.
“The outcome of parking illegally could be far more serious than a FCPN or vehicle towing and puts others and your own life at risk.
An Garda Siochana reminds and encourages the public to social distance and follow public health guidelines when attending these locations this Summer.
An Garda Siochana is also supporting National Water Safety Awareness Week (June 14th – 20th). Information on this campaign and general water safety can be found on Water Safety Irelands Website – www.watersafety.ie/national-water-safety-awareness-week/
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