Hotels and guesthouses owners are calling on the Government to provide additional supports for the sector in response to a collapse in event bookings in the lead up to Christmas.

Hoteliers are reporting over €90m in lost revenues, with many companies and organisations cancelling events and social gatherings, according to the latest industry research by the Irish Hotels Federation.

In normal times, December trading sustains the first few months of the following year for many hotels and guesthouses. However, as a result of the recent event cancellations, the sector is calling on continued Government supports at current levels.

Hotel occupancy levels remain significantly down on expectations, with hoteliers reporting occupancies of just 35% for December and 14% across January and February.

IHF Chief Executive Tim Fenn is calling for a firm commitment from Government to continue EWSS supports at their current levels at least up until April 2022 and for the current local authority rates waiver to be retained until June 2022.

He said: “Health and Safety remains our number one priority. As a direct result of Government public health advice, however, the trading environment for the hotels sector is now completely different to a few weeks ago. Hotels and guesthouses are taking an enormous financial hit, and this must be recognised upfront by Government in the form of urgent additional supports for our sector.”

“We have been repeatedly told that there will be no “cliff edge” yet that is not what we are seeing from the Government at present. The Government must recognise the impact recent changes to public health advice are having on our industry and reverse decisions to withdraw supports until the impact of Covid-19 measures has abated. Budget 2022 was not designed for the current challenges facing hospitality businesses. Additional targeted supports must be put in place immediately to provide much-needed certainty.”

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