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Kerry Hoteliers upbeat for 2018

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Hotel and guesthouse owners in Kerry and across the country are reporting a good start to the year according to an industry survey undertaken by the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) in advance of its 80th Annual Conference in the Slieve Russell Hotel, Co Cavan. Most are forecasting an increase in business levels for 2018 with advance bookings up from domestic and key overseas markets, helping to offset the drop in bookings from the UK, Ireland’s largest market, where visitor numbers continue to fall.  The high cost of doing business, including insurance, continues to be a major concern.

Seven in ten (72%) hoteliers say their overall business levels are up compared to this time last year, with a similar number (68%) reporting an increase in advance bookings for the remainder of the year. Business levels from the US look set to remain strong with over half of hoteliers surveyed reporting an increase in business from this market. Visitor numbers are up too from continental Europe with almost a third (32%) reporting an increase in business from Germany and nearly a quarter (23%) seeing a rise from France. Closer to home the domestic market remains buoyant with almost seven in ten (67%) of hoteliers seeing an increase in home-grown business. However, in contrast, the UK market remains a significant concern with over half (56%) of hoteliers reporting a drop in business from Great Britain compared to this time last year and almost four in ten seeing a drop from Northern Ireland.

Patrick O’Donoghue, Chair, Kerry branch of the Irish Hotels Federation said that overall hoteliers are confident about the outlook for 2018, but not complacent. “The increase in business levels that we are seeing from key international markets and from within Ireland itself, following on from strong growth in recent years, gives us some confidence. However, the negative effect on visitor numbers from the weakened sterling and uncertainty over Brexit reminds us that we’re an island nation, dependent on the vagaries of other, larger economies, and there is never room for complacency,” he said. Tourism currently supports 11,900 jobs in Kerry and contributes some €508 million to the local economy annually.

“We operate in a price sensitive sector where we compete with the UK for overseas visitors. A sustained fall in sterling could have a negative effect on visitor numbers from other markets who may opt instead to go to the UK. Cost-competitiveness is critical. Government cannot influence the economic conditions affecting other countries but there is a wide policy range of measures within their control that can enhance competitiveness. The 9% VAT rate and zero travel tax, for example, have been hugely significant in underpinning the recovery of the tourism sector.  However, more needs to be done to bring down the high costs that are stifling business in Ireland such as insurance, where the costs are now so high they are a significant concern for almost nine in ten hoteliers (88%),” he said.

Mr O’Donoghue added, “It is important that there is a continued commitment to enhancing and developing the experiences that we offer visitors - from at home and overseas. The hotel sector has an important role to play here and, as our member survey highlights, most hoteliers across the country are planning to invest in their properties this year – from expansion in some cases, to refurbishment, or investing in new technology to upgrade existing operational and guest services.

“But, it’s also about market diversification and reinvigorating our tourism brand, to create compelling offers that appeal to new markets while at the same time helping us to consolidate our market share in existing markets. More needs to be done, especially in regional tourism marketing. There are parts of the country like the Shannon Corridor, which have much to offer and with the right support they could expand Ireland’s tourism offering and greatly benefit the rural economy,” he added. According to the IHF survey, two thirds of hoteliers are already planning to increase their own marketing spend during 2018 in a bid to attract more visitors to their areas.

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Fat dissolving injections target stubborn areas

By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio It may sound too good to be true but fat dissolving injections are as effective as the name suggests. They are […]

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By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio

It may sound too good to be true but fat dissolving injections are as effective as the name suggests.

They are administered by our in-house Dr. Micheal Flynn who has been attending our salon for the past 10 years. It is the double chin and neck area that is treated and is suitable for both men and women. If you haven’t heard of fat dissolving, it is a very popular and relatively new treatment that is used to target stubborn pockets of fat on the jaw line and chin area. The injection dissolves and eliminates fat cells in a safe and effective way, making it perfect for dealing with stubborn fat that simply won’t budge with exercise.

The main ingredient is a fat dissolving substance sodium deoxycholate, which is found naturally in the body. This is injected into the treatment area which over time will destroy the fat cells. These are then removed from the body by its own lymphatic system, a complex network that rids the body of unwanted toxins and waste.

It is important to understand that fat dissolving injections are not a weight loss treatment. The injections should only be used on people who are a healthy size or carrying a little extra weight. It’s most effective on the pockets of fat stored under the jawline, known as the double chin, a migration of fat cells from the cheeks to the jaw line.

The injections work at a slow pace. It can take serval weeks for full results, but once it’s gone, it’s gone. The results are permanent, once you don’t gain a massive amount of weight.

The next clinic is Monday August 22. To book an appointment or more information, call Jill on 064 6632966.

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Classic tractor drivers to embark on 400km drive to Killarney

By Sean Moriarty Six members of the Killarney Valley Classic and Vintage Club will set out from County Meath on Wednesday on vintage tractors. They are participating in the annual […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Six members of the Killarney Valley Classic and Vintage Club will set out from County Meath on Wednesday on vintage tractors.

They are participating in the annual Eastern Vintage Club’s Ring of Kerry Tractor Run which is raising funds for the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Over 50 vintage tractors, including the six Killarney examples, will leave Nobber in County Meath at lunchtime on Wednesday.

After an overnight stop in the midlands on Wednesday night and Newcastle West on Thursday night, the tractors are expected in Killarney town centre just after lunchtime on Friday.

The ‘spectacular show’, now a regular feature of the Killarney summer, will bring the town to a standstill for around one hour.

On Saturday morning the group will depart Tony Wharton’s farm in Fossa before a nine-hour drive around the Ring of Kerry.

The run will finish with a spectacular drive through the Gap of Dunloe.

“We hope to pass through town around 3.30pm on Friday,” said local organiser, Tom Wharton, who is one of the six Killarney-based drivers who will undertake the 400km journey from County Meath to Killarney. “It is always a spectacular show.”

On arrival in Killarney, tractors will be joined by a group of classic cars that will depart Nobber at 9am that morning.

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