Nearly three quarters of Irish hotels have reported an increase in summer bookings this year, according to the Irish Hotels Federation’s (IHF) quarterly barometer.
The study also shows that some 86% of hotels have expressed an optimistic view for future trading conditions in 2014
67% of hoteliers noted a growth in domestic tourism and a rise in advance bookings from Great Britain (54%) and the United States (45%), with 75% of hoteliers reporting an overall increase in business levels so far this year.
With an outlook of increased and domestic advance bookings, 42% of hoteliers state they expect to increase staffing levels over the coming 12 months. However, a pipeline of qualified staff was raised as a concern with seven out of ten (73%) hotel and guesthouse owners expressing difficulty recruiting qualified craft/entry level staff compared with 64% at the same time last year.
Tim Fenn, Chief Executive of the IHF said in a statement: “Despite the upturn, the hotels sector is still a number of years away from achieving sustainability and Irish tourism still faces some serious challenges. As we seek to secure growth in the tourism industry, the barrier to stifle that growth must be addressed”.