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Conference industry warned of collapse as hotel operator folds

 

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Conference organisers have warned of a collapse of the industry with implications for the wider tourism sector. Stock image

Conference organisers have warned of a collapse of the industry with implications for the wider tourism sector. Stock image

Conference organisers have warned of a collapse of the industry with implications for the wider tourism sector. Stock image

Conference organisers have warned of a collapse of the industry with implications for the wider tourism sector.

It came as 14 companies behind the tourist accommodation group The Key Collection collapsed into liquidation as a result of the shutdown of the industry in a sign of the level of stress in the sector.

Yesterday, 300 delegates attended an online conference of The Association of Irish Professional Conference Organisers (AIPCO). Its chairman, Ronan Flood, said the industry looks set to be one of the worst hit by Covid-19, with 90pc of events scheduled from now until summer 2021 already cancelled.

The event was addressed by Pat McCann, CEO of Dalata Hotels, Martin Mongon of Conrad/Hilton Hotels and Stephen Meehan, CEO of the Convention Centre Dublin.

Meanwhile, accountant John Healy of Kirby Healy Chartered Accountants has been nominated as liquidator of 14 companies behind hotel and short-term letting firm The Key Collection.

The appointment is subject to ratification by creditors of each company who include Revenue, landlords, trade creditors and around 150 staff.

At least one of the companies is understood to have a contract with the HSE to provide rooms for Covid-19-related self-isolation, but the wider impact of the virus means income at the group has collapsed in recent months.

Creditor meetings for the 14 companies will be held on June 30, according to a notice to creditors published in 'The Star' newspaper. The meetings can take place by phone and video link and are expected to take place back to back at 20- minute intervals.

Despite a €23m turnover across the group before the Covd-19 lockdown it is understood the group has few assets.

It operated contracts to run Dublin hotels including The Kildare Street Hotel, Handels Hotel and The Camden Hotel as well as managing the short- term holiday letting of apartments in Dublin and London. It is understood landlords have taken back control of most of the leased and rented assets.

One asset the liquidator may seek to recoup is an insurance policy for business interruption cover, according to a statement of affairs circulated to creditors.

Irish Independent