The Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) has today released their latest industry survey which shows that the majority (70%) of respondents say business is up, compared to the same time last year, with increases in staycations and visitors from overseas markets including North America and continental Europe.
According to the IHF survey, the domestic market remains buoyant with six in ten hoteliers seeing an increase in home-grown business compared to this time last year. This is good news for seasonal seaside resorts and other parts of the country beyond the traditional hot spots as they are heavily reliant on local visitors. I
In terms of overseas visitors, six in ten (60%) hoteliers say business levels from the US are up while four in ten (41%) are seeing an increase from Germany. Although the fall in UK visitors appears to have tapered off for now, after the significant fall in 2017 (down 5% year on year), only one in five (18%) hoteliers are seeing an increase. With so many still experiencing a drop off in business, the IHF says the UK market continues to be a significant concern.
Almost all (94%) hoteliers plan to invest in capital expenditure projects over the next 12 months. The majority (91%) intend to refurbish or redecorate their properties, while half (50%) are planning to invest in technology with improvements to broadband a key focus. The survey shows many hoteliers (37%) are enhancing the sustainability of their properties, using technology such as smart thermostats, motion sensor lighting systems and energy efficient kitchen appliances to help to reduce energy consumption.
Employment growth is set to continue in 2018 and the Irish Hotels Federation President said the tourism industry is on track to creating 40,000 new jobs by 2021. The tourism industry is Ireland’s largest indigenous employer. It supports approximately 230,000 jobs - equivalent to 11% of total employment – with more than 60,000 of these jobs in the hotel sector alone.
Employment in the tourism sector has grown by over 60,000 since 2011, an increase of 33%, compared to an increase of 13% in employment throughout the overall economy.