Brexit bites but rise in ‘staycations’ has hoteliers happy

New report shows hotel bookings up despite fall in number of visitors from Britain

The latest survey reveals that insurance remains a pressing issue for hoteliers

The latest survey reveals that insurance remains a pressing issue for hoteliers

 

Brexit is biting but that has not stopped hoteliers recording an increase in business during the first half of 2017 due to a rise in the number of Irish people deciding to holiday at home.

Seven in 10 hoteliers says business is booming compared to the same period a year earlier, with the outlook for the rest of 2017 also positive as Ireland looks to surpass the 8.8 million overseas visits last year.

While visitor numbers from Britain – Ireland’s biggest tourism market – are reported to be lower than in previous years, this has been largely offset by an increase in so-called “staycations” and in advance bookings from the US, Germany and France.

A new report from the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) finds two-thirds of hoteliers say bookings are up during the all-important summer months, while six in 10 report that advance bookings for “staycations” for the remainder of 2017 have also increased versus last year.

Increased confidence is leading hoteliers to invest more in their businesses, with almost all hotel and guesthouses surveyed indicating that they intend to invest in refurbishment and increased capital expenditure within the next year.

The report also shows 61 per cent of hoteliers have recruited new staff over the past 12 months, with almost a third planning to increase headcount further in the coming year.

New jobs

According to the IHF, some 50,000 new jobs have been created in tourism since 2011, with the sector on track to create a further 40,000 jobs nationally by 2021.

While the latest report is predominantly upbeat despite concerns over Brexit, the study reveals that insurance remains a pressing issue for hoteliers. Just over half of those surveyed report that rising costs are having a very significant impact on their businesses.

“When genuine accidents take place in hotels, guests should be rightly compensated. However, the vast majority of claims in the hotel sector concern minor injuries and the higher compensation payouts recommended by the updated book of quantum are putting pressure on insurers to increase their reserves significantly,” said IHF president Joe Dolan.