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
Killarney allocated over €600,000 for public outdoor dining
By Sean Moriarty The plan to place council operated outdoor dining on Kenmare Place took a step closer to reality this week. On Wednesday Fáilte Ireland revealed that 38 Municipal Districts were successful in their funding applications. Killarney is set to receive €604,505 under the scheme which is managed by the national tourism promotion body. […]
By Sean Moriarty
The plan to place council operated outdoor dining on Kenmare Place took a step closer to reality this week.
On Wednesday Fáilte Ireland revealed that 38 Municipal Districts were successful in their funding applications.
Killarney is set to receive €604,505 under the scheme which is managed by the national tourism promotion body.
“The aim of this Scheme is to support tourism and hospitality jobs and help businesses develop new ways of catering for domestic and international tourists outdoors. Access to outdoor dining facilities will continue to be a key part of industry recovery as we look forward to 2022 and beyond,” said Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin at Wednesday’s announcement.
Elected members of Killarney Municipal District are scheduled to meet in the coming weeks and more details of the project will be revealed after this meeting.
Student grants and renting
Supports Available It’s that time of year where parents and their school leaving children are preparing for college for the first time. The main financial support for students or their parents is the Student Grant from SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland). SUSI typically accepts late applications up until November. This is a means tested grant […]
It’s that time of year where parents and their school leaving children are preparing for college for the first time. The main financial support for students or their parents is the Student Grant from SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland). SUSI typically accepts late applications up until November. This is a means tested grant which may cover the fees (student contribution) and provide maintenance.
The limits that apply to the grant vary, but if the student was coming from a family with less than four dependent children, in order to qualify for the maximum rate of grant the total net income in the previous tax year would have to have been €39,875 or less. That refers to both the parent’s income and the student’s income, however €4,500 of the student’s income which they earn outside term time e.g. during the summer will be disregarded.
If the student was getting the PUP payment because they lost their part-time job due to the pandemic, this is taken into account. Currently there are no disregards allowed for PUP payments. If there is more than one student attending college from the same household, the limit may be increased by €4,830.
Maximum Student Grant
There are actually two different maximum rates of grant. There are referred to as the adjacent and non-adjacent rate. The adjacent rate is for students living within 45km of the college and the non-adjacent rate is for students living more than 45km from the college. The adjacent rate is €3,025. The non-adjacent rate is €1,125. There has always been a special higher rate of grant for disadvantaged students.
Student Assistance Fund
Yes, separate from the Student Grant from SUSI the colleges have access to the Student Assistance Fund. Students can apply directly through their college for assistance with expenses such as books or laptops. Typically, this involves completing an application form and going for a short interview in the college. There are no set amounts of funding under this scheme. The college will assess each application on its own merits.
Renting for the First Time
Don’t be tempted to pay a deposit or sign a tenancy agreement until you have seen the property. If you are signing a tenancy agreement check if you want to live in the property for the time period stated on the agreement, check for early break clauses. Make sure you have correct contact details for the landlord. If you chose to leave the property early you may lose your deposit.
The landlord should only retain the deposit or part of it to cover any damage to the property beyond normal wear and tear. The tenant should take pictures of the property before they move out as evidence of the condition they left the property in.
There are different rules depending on whether the property is in a Rent Pressure Zone or not. A Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ) is an area where rents cannot be increased by more than general inflation. At the beginning of a new tenancy in a RPZ, a landlord is required to provide the tenant, in writing, with the amount of rent that was last set. For a tenancy not located in a Rent Pressure Zones a landlord may increase the rent in line with market value once every two years.
For anyone needing information, advice or have an advocacy issue, you can call a member of the local Citizens Information team in Kerry on 0761 07 7860. The offices are staffed from Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm, email firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to www.citizensinformation.ie for further information.
Killarney allocated over €600,000 for public outdoor dining
By Sean Moriarty The plan to place council operated outdoor dining on Kenmare Place took a step closer to reality...
Student grants and renting
Supports Available It’s that time of year where parents and their school leaving children are preparing for college for the...
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