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IHF wants unviable hotels closed

The Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) wants unviable hotels to be boarded up instead of dragging down profitability across the sector. Despite looming budget cuts the trade body called on the Government to slash tourist taxes and cut local authority charges to support the crisis-hit sector.

In its pre-budget submission Tim Fenn, CEO of the IHF, said the strategic objective for the sector is to survive the downturn to be in a position to increase market share once the economy begins to recover.

The IHF represents around 1,000 hotels and guest house owners. It wants capacity in the sector cut and called on the Government to remove legislative barriers to reducing the number of hotels.

The group wants the Minister for Finance to adjust 'claw back' regulations that mean developers that previously availed of capital allowances cannot change the use of the assets without incurring penalties.

The number of foreign tourists fell by more than 20pc in the first half of this year prompting the IHF to call for an increase in funding for Tourism Ireland and Failte Ireland. It also called for an immediate end to the tax on air and ferry tickets.

Irish Independent