Irish hotels pessimistic for 2019 amid Brexit concern
Ireland's hotel operators are hugely pessimistic about their prospects for 2019, as Brexit, declining visitor numbers from the UK, and rising costs weigh on their outlook.
The latest barometer from the Irish Hotels Federation shows that just 49pc of hotels are now positive about their outlook for 2019 - a slump from the figure of 82pc this time last year.
The survey noted that while 73pc of hotels have seen some increase in overall business this year, growth from the United States and mainland Europe has masked a poor performance of the UK market, with visitor numbers from there down 5pc.
The federation said that 52pc of hotels reported a drop in business from Britain this year, while 40pc reported a fall in the level of business from Northern Ireland.
"We are increasingly concerned about the direction that Brexit is taking and the impact that heightened uncertainty is having on our sector," said Irish Hotels Federation president Michael Lennon.
"A disruptive Brexit would have enormous economic repercussions which would be felt directly by tourism businesses given our heavy reliance on the UK market," he added.
Mr Lennon said the Government must act to mitigate the risks of Brexit to tourism.
"We have to retain our competitiveness and this means taking decisive action on the issues that are affecting the cost of doing business," he said.