Loss of Web Summit a 'Fatal Blow' says Louis Fitzgerald
One of Ireland's leading publicans has said the decision by Paddy Cosgrave (pictured) to move the Web Summit to Lisbon next year could be "fatal" to some businesses in Dublin.
Louis Fitzgerald, owners of pubs such as the Stag's Head, Kehoes and the Big Tree, said the Arlington Hotel on O'Connell Street, also part of the Fitzgerald group, saw an increase of 25 to 30 per cent in turnover during the last event.
Speaking to the Irish Independent, the publican suggested more effort should have been put into the event. "Maybe we were too complacent," he said.
Fáilte Ireland chairman Michael Cawley spoke of his disappointment at the announcement, although he believes that something can still be worked out to change Cosgrave's mind about the move. "I regret it, and I'd like to think that it's not a done deal yet and that something can be done about it," he said.
Stephen McNally, president of the Irish Hotels Federation, also reacted to the news, saying it was not a big surprise due to the phenomenal growth of the event.
“You must remember when it started five years ago I think something like 400 people attended the first event and according to Paddy Cosgrave’s figures he is expecting 50,000 next year, so from a national event it has become an international event and when things become international by their nature they move cities."
The web summit started in 2005 and grew in size. Organisers were left red-faced last year as participants were unable to connect to the wifi, as well as a host of ticketing problems. Hotels were also criticised for raising their prices by as much as 60 per cent during the event.