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Smaller than perceived visitor numbers in Killarney – says hotelier

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EXCLUSIVE

By Sean Moriarty

 

A recent survey by hotel operators in the Killarney area revealed that the number of overseas visitors, who are staying in local hotels, are well below the perceived numbers reported in the town.

Bernadette Randles, the Chair of the Kerry Branch of the Irish Hotel Federation (IHF) and owner/operator of both the Dromhall Hotel and The Randles Court Hotel in Killarney surveyed 11 different hotels in the town centre area.

The results, which did not include guesthouses, Airbnb properties, self-catering units and camping and caravan facilities, found that there were no overseas tourists booked into to IHF member properties last weekend.

The findings go against colloquial evidence that suggest Killarney is overrun with foreign tourists as locals continue to remain very nervous about the potential spread of COVID-19 in the locality.

Ms Randles said local IHF members were taking every precaution possible to ensure both staff and permitted guests remain safe in the current challenging climate.

These include monitoring email addresses and mobile phone numbers at the time of booking. She also reported a large number of ‘no shows’ from American visitors who made their bookings in February but have decided now not to travel.

She explained that one of the reasons there is a perception that there are a lot of foreign visitors in the area is because international citizens who now live in Ireland full-time are enjoying staycations.

“I am aware of one booking from an Italian family who were at pains to point out they have been living in Dublin for the last 10 years,” she told the Killarney Advertiser yesterday (Thursday). “Another hotel took a booking from a Scottish man. It was clear from his accent he was Scottish but he has been living Tulla, Co Clare for years. There has been a long tradition of Northern Irish visitors coming to Killarney in and around the July 12 weekend as they do not want to be part of the parade culture that exists there at this time.”

SELF-ISOLATION RULES

She is calling for more Government support and feels hoteliers are been asked to police the so called 'self -isolation’ rules.

As it stands, overseas visitors are required to fill out a locator form and quarantine for two-weeks. However, the law is vague in this matter and the only legal requirement is to fill out the form. Visitors are free to nominate a hotel as their quarantine location.

Ms Randles feels this is an unfair position to place hotel owners in.

Despite taking every precaution in the pre-booking process she admits that it is possible that some bookings will slip through the net.

“What am I supposed to do if an American family arrive at my reception looking for a bed,” she asked. “I can’t turf them out on the street, I will have to give them a room, but one that is in a quieter portion of the hotel. I would give them the room for one night only, I would report it the HSE and inform members of the IHF in the area. I won’t be able to sell that room for another two or three days after they leave as I can’t ask my staff to clean that room. The Government need to give us clear directions and take charge of this. How can we police it? It is unfair on hotels to expect them to do it, we must protect staff too.”

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Killarney centre stage for Pride Festival

The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage. Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July […]

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The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage.

Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July 17 to 21.

The organisation’s flagship Party in the Park event will be held again in Killarney House and Gardens, following the Pride march in the town centre on July 20.

This year, in solidarity with the people of Palestine, Kingdom Pride in Kerry is inviting the people of Kerry to come to show their unity by bringing Palestinian flags and kites to the march, and to the Party in the Park.

“Pride is a protest for human rights all over the world. Here in the Kingdom, we have been so lucky to receive tremendous community support from our allies and supporters, and we see the struggle for liberation of all peoples as a united cause,” said Daniel Quirke, chairperson of the organising committee.

“Our events have always welcomed everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, religion, or nationality. We truly believe that together we can create positive change through caring for and loving one another. This year is no exception, and we look forward to helping to highlight the Palestinian cause, and to bringing people together to keep generating positive change for all people.”

Events will take place in Cahersiveen, Listowel, Killorglin, Tralee and Dingle, and include an Irish comedy night with Áine Gallagher, an Irish-language movie screening, yoga, sea swimming, poetry and storytelling, bowling, pitch and putt, a lively drag night at the INEC, and plenty more for people of all ages.

“We do our best to keep tickets as low-cost as possible, and we have lots of events that are totally free to attend. It is important to us that people can share Pride with us, regardless of income. Especially with the rise of the cost of living putting a strain on people’s pockets.” added the chairperson.

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A weekend of Live Music, Fun and Entertainment, at FleskFest 2024

The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event. “It promises to be […]

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The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event.

“It promises to be the festival weekend of the summer, an event you don’t want to miss out on. Last year’s Festival was a fantastic memorable experience for our community, a time to get together and celebrate,” said festival PRO Seán Daly.

Organised by Glenflesk GAA, FleskFest 24 will take place at the Barraduff Community Field next week.
There will be a fully licensed bar in the Fest Marquee, some amazing live music on The Big Stage, food trucks and much more.
Glenflesk GAA club’s biggest fundraiser of the year includes a new-for-2024 Texas Holdem Poker Tournament on Thursday night.
Weekend highlights include old-time waltzing, jiving and polka sets with Paudie McAuliffe and Paudie Coffey Band on Friday,
On Saturday, the new Well Flesk event will take place.
“A morning of self-care and wellness at Flesk Fest featuring masterclasses in yoga, pilates, mindfulness, spinning, fitness sessions, workouts, firewood sauna and ice pods with a range of experienced and qualified instructors,” added Daly.
Leading local musician Johnny Courtney and Friends, Sam and Ina, The O’Donoghue Sisters, Reigning All Ireland Champions Glenflesk Ballad Group, and The Border Boys will take to the Big Stage over the weekend.
Sunday is Family Fun Day with children’s entertainment and disco and the All-Ireland Hurling Final Live on the Big screen followed by music with Thingamajig.
The festival will finish with a Sunday evening session with the Meadhbh Walsh Band.

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