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Hotels could play 'key role' in tackling coronavirus pandemic, says Savills, despite cancellations

 

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Fresh thinking: Savills’ Tom Barrett says hotels could have a positive influence on the Covid-19 crisis. Stock Image

Fresh thinking: Savills’ Tom Barrett says hotels could have a positive influence on the Covid-19 crisis. Stock Image

Fresh thinking: Savills’ Tom Barrett says hotels could have a positive influence on the Covid-19 crisis. Stock Image

Ireland's hotels could play a "key role" in managing the coronavirus crisis, according to property firm Savills.

It reckons that there are 15,000 hotel beds that are located close to main hospitals and would be "ideally suited" for use in self-isolation.

There are a total of about 60,000 hotel rooms in Ireland, with more than 28,000 in Dublin alone.

The hotel sector has been "hit hard" by the national crisis, according to Tom Barrett, director of the hotels and leisure unit at Savills Ireland.

"Feedback from our hotel clients is that they are ready to assist the cause in whatever way they can," he said.

"Holidaymakers and business travellers have curtailed and cancelled their travel plans all over Ireland, and hotels are facing very low occupancy and are closing," he added.

"But the sector is perfectly positioned to use its resources to provide shelter and sustenance to those in need."

Savills said Ireland's hotels - designed to house, feed and support thousands of people in segregated areas - can be used to assist in managing the emergency.

Last week, Tánaiste Simon Coveney said that hotels and other large properties could be used to provide isolation units.

HSE chief executive Paul Reid confirmed that the health service was in talks with the hotel sector in that regard.

There have also been calls for self-isolation accommodation to be provided for homeless people.

"Self-isolation for those who are homeless is virtually impossible - so we need to look at ways in which we can make this feasible," said Mr Barrett. "Again, hotel accommodation is an obvious solution."

Ireland's hotel sector has undergone a boom in recent years.

Thousands of extra hotel rooms added to the supply in the capital in particular. Other cities also saw growth.

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