Business boost for Wexford hotels and guesthouses
Hotels and guesthouses in Wexford have reported an upturn in business during the first nine months of 2015 according to the latest quarterly barometer from the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF).
With overseas visitors to Ireland up 12 per cent so far this year, local hoteliers are reporting an increase in business from key markets such as Britain, North America, France and Germany. The industry survey shows that 90 per cent of Irish hoteliers are now optimistic about the trading conditions for their business over the next 12 months.
Commenting on the findings, Aidan Quirke, Chair of the South East Branch of the IHF states that confidence among hoteliers is steadily improving as the recovery in tourism strengthens. This is being supported by a number of pro-tourism measures by the Government such as the 9 per cent tourism VAT rate, which continues to have a positive impact on the sector.
As a result of the measure, 64 per cent of hotels and guesthouses have increased staffing levels over the last year while 55 per cent plan to take on further staff during the next 12 months.
'Irish tourism has performed strongly since the start of the year and throughout the summer season, with overseas visitors now on track to reach over 7.8 million by year end - a level not seen since 2007. The improved outlook for future trading conditions is providing a significant boost to tourism businesses in Wexford, including hotels and guesthouses,' said Mr Quirke.
He said that Wexford's tourism and hospitality sector continues to act as a strong engine for economic growth and job creation, supporting 9,000 jobs and contributing some €170m to the local economy annually. In addition to growth in overseas visitors, the sector is benefitting from a stronger domestic economy with home-grown tourism starting to recover - although from a low base following years of subdued consumer confidence.
'The nine per cent VAT rate, in particular, is of enormous importance to tourism businesses - helping to level the playing field when competing with international destinations for visitors. With revenues being continually reinvested within the sector, the initiative continues to enable the industry to create additional employment - both nationally and locally in Wexford. This is good news for the local economy as the majority of hotels and guesthouses plan to increase staffing levels further over the next twelve months.'
'Growth in tourism revenues is particularly strong from Britain,' he said.