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Hoteliers predict difficult winter as costs continue to rise

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By Sean Moriarty

Hoteliers in Killarney have outlined, for the first time, the challenges they face, as a result of soaring costs in all sectors.

With barely a week left in the traditional peak summer tourism season, operators are bracing themselves for a hard and long winter.

Difficulties in the hotel industry affect everyone in Kerry; in pre-COVID times the sector supported 15,700 jobs and generated €592 million in local tourism revenues annually.

“The outlook for our business will be different from October onwards and into 2023 as we deal with a number of pressing challenges including heightened uncertainty around inflation, escalating business costs, increasing risk of a global downturn and damage to consumer sentiment,” said Bernadette Randles, the chair of the Kerry branch of the Irish Hotel Federation.

She revealed some of rising costs her family’s business has experienced in the last year.

“Just to put into context the points and why we make them I will give you samples from the Dromhall Hotel costs but I know all my colleagues in our industry and other industries are facing a lot of the same key challenges,” she told the Killarney Advertiser.

ELECTRICITY

The ESB bill at the Dromhall Hotel has increased by €6,000 per month. In June 2021 the hotel paid €4,820.52 but in June this year they paid €11,369.69. In July 2021 the cost of electricity at the Muckross Road venue cost €5,597.09 but that had jumped to €11,892.21 by July this year.

“This is for, more or less, the same units,” explained Ms Randles.

GAS

In the same period gas prices increased substantially too. In June 2021 she paid €3,452.80 but 12 months later her bill was €4,801.45. It was much the same story in July, in 2021 the hotel paid €3,191.11 and a year later it cost €4,467.85.

“This was more or less for the same usage of litres in 2021 and 2022,” she added.

FOOD

The cost of wholesale food into restaurants and hotels has also risen dramatically.

A simple barometer is the cost of a loaf of bread. A sliced-pan cost €0.97 a year ago – today it is €1.35.

Cooking oil has increased from €22 for a 20 litre drum to €38 in the same time period while a 25kg sack of plain flour was €16 a year ago but now costs €21.

Meats like a striploin of beef went from €12.50 per Kg to €14.50 per Kg; a chicken fillet went from €0.98 cent per fillet to €1.35 which shows prices have risen dramatically.

“All these suppliers are facing the same increase in costs so hence they too have to increase their costs. It affects us all,” she added.

FUTURE

“While our industry is currently seeing a welcome recovery in tourism, this is being boosted
significantly by a number of one-off short-term factors including high levels of pent-up demand, a
temporary increase in consumer spending post COVID and displaced business from 2020 and 2021,” she said.

“A key challenge facing our business and the industry as a whole is the escalating cost of doing
business which is having a detrimental impact across all areas of our operations.”

BUDGET

The Irish Hotel Federation is calling for a number of key measures from Government as part of Budget 2023.

They include:

1. Recruitment, Training and Development: Additional funding for hospitality recruitment and career
awareness, and targeted resources for training and skills development.

2. Tourism 9% VAT: Retention of the 9% VAT rate for tourism businesses to support cost
competitiveness in line with European competitors. The majority of Europeans have a low VAT rate
on accommodation. Increasing the VAT to 13.5% would leave us with the second highest rate in the EU.

3. Investment in Tourism Marketing and Development: Continued investment and support for tourism marketing both domestically and overseas.

4. Cost of Doing Business: Improve cost competitiveness within the economy and avoid any cost increasing measures affecting tourism businesses.

5. Sustainability: Targeted funding for a national hotel retrofitting scheme to reduce carbon footprint throughout the sector in line with the Government’s climate action goals.

6. Insurance Competition: Acceleration of work with Department of Finance to attract more insurance underwriters into the Irish insurance market.

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Credit Union launch a new collaboration with Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd.

Building on recent success the Credit Unions of Kerry and West Limerick have launched a new collaboration with Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd. Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd specialise in Photovoltaic (PV) […]

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Building on recent success the Credit Unions of Kerry and West Limerick have launched a new collaboration with Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd.

Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd specialise in Photovoltaic (PV) Solar systems that generate electricity, battery storage, air to water heat-pumps and much more.
Gilroy’s work with customers to receive the SEAI once-off grant towards the purchase and installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and heat pumps for your home.
Collaborating with Kerry and West Limerick Credit Union expands the finance options available to Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd customers to help finance new PV Solar Panel installations. Loan rates will be directly linked to the property BER starting from 4.7%(4.89APR) for an “A” rated BER.
Martin Gilroy; CEO with Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd said: “We are delighted to officially launch this collaboration with the Credit Unions of Kerry and West Limerick. Customers have already reaped the benefits on recent installation projects after contacting their local Credit Union. Having a direct link to local Credit Unions allows us to guide customers to affordable financing options based on the specific installation quotation we provide at very competitive rates.“
Speaking on behalf of the Kerry and West Limerick Credit Unions, Ashley Fitzgerald added: “We are delighted to have Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd come on board as part of our Greener Homes Loan offering. Home Energy Upgrade have become a prominent concern and talking point among members in recent months, by Credit Unions having a direct link with Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd allows both sides to make referrals and seek the best finance option for members. We are working hard building relationships with Green Energy Ltd providers as we want to ensure our members can avail of the best loan rates for all upgrade works.”
Credit Unions across Kerry and West Limerick. Abbeyfeale Credit Union, Cara Credit Union, Killarney Credit Union, Listowel Credit Union and Rathmore and District Credit Union can be reached via: www.creditunion.ie
Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd can be contacted on 066-7115920, email info@gilroys.ie or for more information visit www.gilroys.ie.

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Racegoers Club to host Cheltenham Preview Night

Killarney Racegoers Club will host its annual Cheltenham Preview Night in Corkery’s Bar on March 7. Admission is free and this year’s chosen beneficiary is the Killarney Branch of St […]

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Killarney Racegoers Club will host its annual Cheltenham Preview Night in Corkery’s Bar on March 7.

Admission is free and this year’s chosen beneficiary is the Killarney Branch of St Vincent De Paul Society.
The expert panel includes professional punter Paddy Wilmott, leading jockey Conor McNamara, up-and-coming Kerry-based trainer Eoin McCarthy and local bookmaker Brendan Tyther with Vince Casey acting as the event’s compere.

“There is no admission fee but a raffle on the night for dual membership of Killarney Racegoers Club for the year, which includes 13 days racing and many reciprocal days to other race meetings,” said Mr Casey.

The Cheltenham Festival begins on March 12.

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