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Kerry hoteliers cautious about Brexit despite growth in overseas visitors

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Terence Mulcahy, president of the Kerry branch of the Irish Hotels Federation. PICTURE: DON MACMONAGLE

H

HOTELIERS in this county today welcomed the continuing growth in visitors to Ireland as recorded in the latest Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures. These show a 9.8% increase in trips to the Ireland by overseas visitors between May-July of this year.

Kerry hoteliers state that this growth is very positive for the sector, helping to sustain local employment. But they caution that the effect of Brexit and the weakness in sterling need to be monitored so that the sector can plan for potential negative impact.

Terence Mulcahy, president of the Kerry Branch of the Irish Hotels Federation, believes the growth in visitors has delivered a major boost to Irish tourism, building on last year’s performance. The latest figures show visitor numbers from North America up 13.3% while Britain is recording an increase of 8.6% and the rest of Europe is up 10%.

“There has been a real sense of optimism in Kerry this summer season, as we have seen more visitors on the ground. However, Brexit is a significant concern with Sterling having fallen by more than 16% against the Euro compared to this time last year. This could have a negative knock-on effect for our local tourism industry," said Mr Mulcahy.

The Kerry IHF president said the tourism industry continues to provide economic growth and vital employment opportunities in Kerry thanks to a number of direct actions from the Government, including the zero rate travel tax and the 9% tourism VAT rate.

“The 9% VAT rate in particular has been of major significance to the industry. This has brought our VAT rate into line with other European destinations and helped level the playing field for tourism businesses to compete for visitors," said Mr Mulcahy.

"This has led to increased visitor numbers and also allowed tourism business in Kerry to create additional employment whilst reinvesting revenues in the sector. Tourism is now a major contributor to our economy, generating €380 million in Kerry and supporting 12,000 jobs.”

Mr Mulcahy added: "In addition to the increase in overseas tourism, it is heartening to see that national tourism efforts to reignite the domestic tourism sector are having an effect. He says that Kerry hotels and guesthouses are witnessing increased business from Irish holidaymakers as growing numbers of people take advantage of the good value available.

The Kerry IHF president cautioned, however, that growth in hotel revenues in Kerry are coming from a low base following the downturn and that many hotels and guesthouses in rural areas continue to face significant challenges.
 


 
Pictured above: Terence Mulcahy, president of the Kerry branch of the Irish Hotels Federation.
PICTURE: DON MACMONAGLE

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Weird and wonderful insurance policies

As it is January I thought I would start the year on a light hearted note. Lloyds of London is an insurance marketplace founded in a London coffee shop over 300 years ago. Today it is the world’s leading market for specialist insurance, from large maritime risks to space satellites. Here are some of the […]

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As it is January I thought I would start the year on a light hearted note.

Lloyds of London is an insurance marketplace founded in a London coffee shop over 300 years ago. Today it is the world’s leading market for specialist insurance, from large maritime risks to space satellites.

Here are some of the more interesting and obscure insurance policies put in place over the years.
· David Beckham insured his legs with Lloyds for £100m in 2006

· Dolly Parton has insured her 40dd breasts for £3.8m

· Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards hands are insured for $1.6m

· Michael Flatleys legs were insured for $47 Million. The policy was only in effect when he was touring and forbade him from dancing except on stage.

· James Dean took out a life policy for $100,000 just a week before his tragic death at the age of 25

· The actor Richard Burton purchased a 69.42 carat diamond from Cartier for $1.1 Million in 1969 as a gift for Elizabeth Taylor. It was the world’s most expensive diamond at the time. Once Lloyds had insured the diamond they specified that Taylor should wear it in public for only 30 days a year and even then be protected by security guards. The diamond was sold in 1978 for an estimated $5 Million which would equate to roughly $19 Million today.

· According to novelist and inventor Arthur C Clarke, director Stanley Kubrick wanted to take out insurance with Lloyds to protect himself against losses in the event that extra-terrestrial intelligence was discovered before his movie, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ was released. Lloyds refused to quote for this one.

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Kerry to feature in new TG4 documentary on Wild Atlantic Way

Three episodes of a new ten-part TG4 series on the Wild Atlantic Way were filmed in County Kerry. The series, which started last Wednesday night this week, and continues every Wednesday for the next nine weeks, follows the Wild Atlantic Way from Donegal to Kerry. In this series ‘An Cósta Thiar’, presenter Áine Ní Bhreisleáin gains […]

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Three episodes of a new ten-part TG4 series on the Wild Atlantic Way were filmed in County Kerry.

The series, which started last Wednesday night this week, and continues every Wednesday for the next nine weeks, follows the Wild Atlantic Way from Donegal to Kerry.

In this series ‘An Cósta Thiar’, presenter Áine Ní Bhreisleáin gains an insight into the culture, challenges and benefits of living by the Atlantic and to find out if seawater still flows through the veins of its coastal communities.

On her travels, Áine will meet with the people of the coast, both young and old. She will spend time in the company of people who live and work by the sea, learning more about the attraction of these areas, and this life, through their eyes, stories and experiences. She will meet those communities and people who have a strong affinity with the coast and the sea, through new businesses, traditional livelihoods, recreational activities, ecology, birdwatching, eco-tours, swimming, boats (of all kinds) and more.

Áine began her journey at home in Gaoth Dobhair and heads to the wilds of Árainn Mhóir on the second leg of journey.
The third show platforms south Donegal while in week 4, Áine heads to the beautiful Achill Island.

Half way through her journey from Donegal to Kerry, Áine is in Carna in Conamara while in the the sixth programme, Áine continues her journey on the Galway coast, this time in Cois Fharraige

Áine visits Inis Oírr in the seventh programme, the smallest of the three Oileán Árainn, to explore how life has changed for islanders in recent generations through fishing, farming, tourism and sport.

In programme eight, Áine continues her journey, heading for the West Kerry coastline this time around, rowing with a local musician, Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich, a boatbuilder Eddie Hutch and even All-Ireland champions in Cumann Rámhaíochta an Daingin. She investigates the attraction of sea swimming for local women with local group ‘Snámh for the Soul’ goes foraging and paddleboarding with a woman who lives and breathes the sea and all it has to offer, Susan Feirtéar.

In the penultimate programme, Áine continues on her journey around the Corca Dhuibhne coast, exploring the history of trade in An Daingean with Brenda Uí Shúilleabháin and how the coast inspires artists with the talented Tomáisín Ó Cíobháin. She takes a class with local yoga instructor, Ails Ní Chonchúir and heads out to sea with local guide, Eoghan Ó Slatara, to learn about the islands on the west Kerry coast and she tastes some local seafood but she has to cook it first at the Dingle Cookery School.

Áine ends her journey in Uíbh Ráthach, in South Kerry. She gains a different perspective on the sea while snorkling with Gráinne Ní Ailín from Sea Synergy and surfing with Cian O’Connor, explores the long history of this coastal community from the time of the Milesians with poet and historian, Paddy Bushe, and learns about the Seine boat with a local TikToker, Séaghan Ó Suilleabháin, better known as The Kerry Cowboy, and is there a better way to finish her journey than a first visit to the majestic Sceilg islands?

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