Staycations help give Irish hotel sector a boost
An increase in staycations in Ireland has helped give the hotel sector a boost, according to the latest industry survey from the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF).
The quarterly survey found that six in ten hoteliers in Ireland are seeing an increase in domestic business when compared with the same period last year.
Overall, and 70pc of hoteliers say that business is up this year compared to last year, with businesses also reporting increases in visitors from overseas markets including North America and continental Europe.
However, Michael Lennon, President of the IHF, warned that there is little room for complacency in the sector.
"Despite the upturn, not every tourism business is enjoying the same level of success and the hotel sector is still a number of years away from achieving sustainability in certain regional areas," he said.
With Brexit less than a year away, the fall in UK visitors appears to have tapered off for now, after the 5pc year-on-year fall in 2017.
However, despite this, only one in five (18pc) hoteliers are seeing an increase in UK visitors.
With so many still experiencing a drop off in business, Mr Lennon said the UK market continues to be a “significant concern”.
Meanwhile the report found that growth in employment in the sector is set to continue, with the tourism industry on track to creating 40,000 new jobs by 2021.
"Almost half of hoteliers (47pc) expect to increase their staffing levels over the next year with opportunities available across all areas of business, from entry-level positions to jobs for experienced staff," Mr Lennon said.
The tourism industry is Ireland’s largest indigenous employer.
It supports approximately 230,000 jobs, with more than 60,000 of these jobs in the hotel sector.