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Smaller than perceived visitor numbers in Killarney – says hotelier

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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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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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