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Hotel bookings worryingly low for summer months

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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

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Life-long supporter to be honoured

By Michelle Crean There’ll be a very special launch tomorrow afternoon (Sunday) as one club dedicate a new boat to a loyal supporter. Muckross Rowing Club are inviting all members, past and present, friends and supporters to the boathouse for the boat launch at 2.30pm. “We are delighted to honour and name our new Janousek Coxed […]

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By Michelle Crean

There’ll be a very special launch tomorrow afternoon (Sunday) as one club dedicate a new boat to a loyal supporter.

Muckross Rowing Club are inviting all members, past and present, friends and supporters to the boathouse for the boat launch at 2.30pm.

“We are delighted to honour and name our new Janousek Coxed Quad, sponsored by the Cahernane House Hotel, after Kathleen Murphy, a dedicated supporter of our club,” Shona O’Sullivan from the club, who is also Kathleen’s granddaughter, said.

“Kathleen is always supportive of our club fundraisers and has been selling the Muckross Lotto tickets since day one. Every year Kathleen’s enthusiasm and love for the club is especially shown from the shore at Killarney Regatta, as she is all decked out in the yellow of Muckross.”

She added that Kathleen’s family are also very active members of the club and she enjoys listening to their stories from the boathouse and regattas.

“We hope to see you all there to honour and thank Kathleen, a life-long supporter of our club.”

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Killarney man wins most-coveted trophy in sheepdog trials

By Sean Moriarty Kilcummin farmer Tom O’Sullivan – one of the main organisers of last month’s Sheep Dog Trials in Fossa – has become the first Kerry man to win the biggest award in the sport. Tom is the chairman of the Killarney sub-committee and was a member of the 15-strong Irish team that participated […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Kilcummin farmer Tom O’Sullivan – one of the main organisers of last month’s Sheep Dog Trials in Fossa – has become the first Kerry man to win the biggest award in the sport.

Tom is the chairman of the Killarney sub-committee and was a member of the 15-strong Irish team that participated in the international sheepdog competition in Aberystwyth in Wales last weekend.

A total of 60 competitors, 15 each from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales, contested the biggest event in sheepdog trials on Friday to Sunday last.

After getting through the qualifiers on Friday and Saturday, Tom and his dog Northhill Tess, fended off the challenges of the other top-15 qualifiers to win the International Supreme Champion award.

Not alone is he the first Kerry man to win the competition, which has been running since 1947, he is just the fifth Irishman to do so and the first from Munster.

“The qualifying course was similar to Killarney,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.

However, Sunday’s final was much more difficult. His dog had to round up a flock of sheep at the left hand side of the course. Then Northhill Tess, under the guidance of Tom, had to round up a smaller flock and bring them to the same holding pen. When finished, five of the sheep were wearing red collars and Tom had to instruct his dog to separate them and bring them to a separate holding area.

“It is the biggest trophy in sheep dog trailing,” he added. “Everyone who trains a dog does so for this day. It is mind blowing. My family are very proud, they know the time and the work involved preparing for this.”

The standard at the Killarney event last month was evident in Wales last weekend. The Killarney winner, Peter Morgan and his dog Moss, ran Tom to a very close second.

His son Peter Og won the Young Handlers award and Team Ireland were declared the overall winners based on aggregate scores in the final 15.

Tom arrived home to Kilcummin on Monday night to a traditional homecoming bonfire.

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