The Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) held their annual members get together and annual general meeting on February 26th and 27th in the Slieve Russell Hotel in Cavan. This year marked the 80th anniversary of the event which was attended by over 400 members, suppliers, guests and Minister of State for Tourism & Sport, Brendan Griffin.
Glas Eireann Solutions attended this year’s conference and here were our key takeaways:
Brexit is already taking effect
The number of British tourists visiting Ireland has dropped by 6% over the past year, this is in stark contrast to visitors from North America and Continental Europe whose figures have dramatically increased. Many hoteliers put the drop in British visitors down to the ‘devaluation of the pound’ ever since the British public voted to leave the European Union. Deirdre McGlone, proprietor of Harvey’s Point Hotel in Donegal told attendees that hoteliers must bundle packages and experiences to win back the British visitor.
Tourism Ireland announced that it is focusing on emerging markets such as China and India to help offset the decline in British holiday makers.
Plenty of Room to Expand
According to Failte Ireland: 70% of all tourism only takes part in 30% of the country, this presents wonderful opportunities to expand tourism in the regions, with initiatives like the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East already paying dividends. Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin, believes that tourism is one of the key factors that will help rural locations to sustain and grow their populations.
Tourism Spend is on the Up
Last year overseas tourists spent €6.9 billion in Ireland, a 4.1% increase over 2016, and domestic tourists spent €1.9 billion holidaying at home, an increase of 5.2%. Hotels were also able to increase their average room rates, with Dalata Group announcing that average room rates were up almost 10% over the 12 month period.
Tourism Ireland announced that Screen Tourism has become a phenomenal success for the island of Ireland. Movies like Star Wars and Television shows such as Game of Thrones have been instrumental in selling our tourism message abroad and attracting large numbers of new tourists to our shores.
New President of IHF
After two years at the helm of the IHF as President, Joe Dolan of Bush Hotel Carrick on Shannon, handed over the chain of office to incoming IHF President Michael Lennon of Westport Woods Hotel. Mr. Lennon stated that his key priorities will be mitigating against the risks posed by Brexit and tackling the high cost of doing business in Ireland. We at Glas Eireann Solutions wish Mr. Lennon the very best for his upcoming two year term.
‘Beast from the Mid West – AKA Mr. Paul O’Connell’
Legendary former Munster and Ireland Rugby player, Paul O’Connell, gave a wonderful closing address on Leadership and Performance. Paul who is now a coach to the Ireland u20 men’s rugby team braved the weather elements of the ‘Beast from the East’ to attend the IHF Conference in Cavan.
Although the majority of hoteliers were in a buoyant, positive mood and looking forward to growing their businesses over the coming years, many still stated that controlling costs was still a major concern.
At Glas Éireann Solutions, we are committed to reducing commercial, agricultural and industrial energy usage, energy overheads, carbon footprint as well as exposure to future energy price increase risk. To find out more on how we can help your business, why not contact us here, or phone on 061 - 633 298.
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