HOTELIERS in the county have welcomed the continued growth in overseas visitor figures announced today by the Central Statistics Office but have sounded a note of caution. The president of the Kerry branch of the Irish Hotels Federation, Terence Mulcahy, warned that risks due to the Brexit referendum decision could jeopardise the continued recovery of the sector.
The latest figures show a 13% increase in trips to the country during the first half of the year. Visitor numbers from Britain are up by 16%. The rest of Europe is showing an increase of 11% while the number of visitors from North America is up by 15%.
“Hoteliers in Kerry are very concerned that economic uncertainty and a weaker Sterling could impact on future inbound tourism from the UK, which is Ireland’s largest overseas market – accounting for over 40% of trips to the country each year,” said Mr Mulcahy.
“We are in uncharted territory, with Sterling having dropped by 16% against the Euro compared to this time last year, reducing the spending power of visitors from Britain and Northern Ireland. A sustained weakness in Sterling would present a serious challenge for our local tourism industry as we compete to attract visitors and holidaymakers.
Mr Mulcahy noted that the risks associated with Brexit are now being reflected in forecasts for the UK economy, with growth being revised downwards and the prospect of a UK recession increasing.
“Recent reports indicate that the Brexit result is already taking a toll on the underlying UK economy in terms of business sentiment and consumer confidence. This is likely to have a knock-on effect on consumer spending and the numbers of British people travelling overseas. Early reports of similar falls in Irish business and consumer sentiment are also worrying given how highly sensitive the domestic tourism market is to consumer confidence.”
The Kerry IHF president added: “The vast majority of our members are concerned about the impact Brexit will have on their businesses over the next twelve months and the wider implications for the industry.”
Tourism has recovered in recent years following the downturn and is now a major contributor to our local economy, generating €380 million in annual revenues and supporting 12,000 jobs in Kerry, noted Mr Mulcahy. “Continued recovery cannot be taken for granted, however. Our industry remains vulnerable to external economic shocks, such as the UK’s decision to leave the EU, and we must plan accordingly.”
Mr Mulcahy stated that the recent strong performance of Kerry’s tourism sector has been underpinned by a number of important Government measures such as the 9% tourism VAT rate, the zero rate travel tax and support for improved air access. He said: “The 9% VAT rate, in particular, is of enormous importance to tourism businesses – helping to level the playing field when competing with international destinations for visitors. With revenues being continually reinvested within the sector, the initiative has continued to enable the industry to create additional employment – both nationally and locally in Kerry.”
He warned there can be no room for complacency. “Tourism can still have a bright future with continued support and investment. The tourism and hospitality sector has been one of the great success stories in terms of employment growth in recent years, supporting an additional 50,000 new jobs nationally over the last five years and the sector is on track to create a further 40,000 jobs by 2020.”
Terence Mulcahy, president of the Kerry branch of the Irish Hotels Federation. PICTURE: DON MACMONAGLE
Training day for junior rowers
By Michelle Crean Junior members of Muckross Rowing Club were delighted to take part in a training day recently to fine tune their skills for upcoming events. Beginner to Junior 18 members competed in 19 races. The 500m sprints were held in octuples, quads and doubles. “Taking part in this sprint regatta will help Junior […]
By Michelle Crean
Junior members of Muckross Rowing Club were delighted to take part in a training day recently to fine tune their skills for upcoming events.
Beginner to Junior 18 members competed in 19 races. The 500m sprints were held in octuples, quads and doubles.
“Taking part in this sprint regatta will help Junior Members prepare for upcoming regattas which are hoped to take place this summer,” Shóna O’Sullivan said.
“Those racing were cheered on by their fellow team mates at the Garden Quays. The races were exciting to watch, especially the races that ended in a photo finish.”
The competitors refuelled with a barbecue cooked by Bernie and Seamus O’Sullivan, she added.
“Thanks to Bernie, Seamus, all coaches and committee members that helped this training session run successfully in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines.”
On the same day Seán Daly Chairperson of Muckross Rowing Club presented Jane and Lila Ryan with Honorary Associated Membership for their generous contribution of €500 to the club.
“Our rowing club are extremely grateful for their generosity.”
Hike up Strickeen Mountain for air ambulance
Locals and visitors are being invited to join a guided ascent of Strickeen Mountain on July 4 to raise funds for the Irish Community Air Ambulance. The hike, described as an easy to moderate climb and family friendly well be led by Killarney-based Irish Community Air Ambulance volunteer and tour guide Krzysztof Szwab. It […]
Locals and visitors are being invited to join a guided ascent of Strickeen Mountain on July 4 to raise funds for the Irish Community Air Ambulance.
The hike, described as an easy to moderate climb and family friendly well be led by Killarney-based Irish Community Air Ambulance volunteer and tour guide Krzysztof Szwab.
It is expected that the 7.5km hike will take around three hours to complete and participants will benefit from the expertise of Krzysztof for a minimum donation €10 per person or €20 per family.
Strickeen Mountain is the eastern most peak of the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks and the hike will start from the Gap of Dunloe at 11am on the day.
As an added bonus fruit and water, donated by local supermarkets including Lidl, Aldi and Daly’s SuperValu, will be provided. The first 20 to register will receive a limited edition Irish Community Air Ambulance face covering snood.
“This is an ideal opportunity for someone who has never climbed this mountain, but wants to do it with the help of an experienced guide,” Donie Lucey, who is one of the Irish Community Air Ambulance’s chief fundraisers, said.
Further details are available from Donie on 086 854 5873 or from Krzysztof on 087 7589697 after 6pm.
Golf club launches Summer Series competition
By Sean Moriarty Competitive golfing has resumed at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club marking another step towards normality in the locality. The O’Mahony’s Point course hosted an open singles event on Monday last and this competition will continue every Monday for the rest of the summer. Meanwhile the club’s ‘TaylorMade’ Summer Series gets underway at […]
By Sean Moriarty
Competitive golfing has resumed at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club marking another step towards normality in the locality.
The O’Mahony’s Point course hosted an open singles event on Monday last and this competition will continue every Monday for the rest of the summer.
Meanwhile the club’s ‘TaylorMade’ Summer Series gets underway at the famed Killeen course this coming Wednesday (June 23). This series will continue every Wednesday for eight weeks and top five scorers on each date will qualify for a Grand Final which is scheduled for Sunday, August 22.
“We are delighted to launch the ‘TaylorMade’ Summer Series. This is a singles stableford event taking place on the Irish Open course, Killeen,” said the club’s marketing manager Meg Dalton. “With over €8,000 worth of prizes to be won, this is an event not to be missed. The first opportunity to qualify for the grand final is Wednesday.”
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