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Head Of NIHF Says Obstacles In Travelling Into NI From International Destinations Have Been 'A Real Turn-Off For Visitors'

Published on Oct 27 2021 11:55 AM in General Industry tagged: Trending Posts / Northern Ireland Hotels Federation / NIHF

Head Of NIHF Says Obstacles In Travelling Into NI From International Destinations Have Been 'A Real Turn-Off For Visitors'

Head of the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation (NIHF) Janice Gault has said that obstacles in travelling into Northern Ireland from international destinations along with different positions on COVID-1...

Head of the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation (NIHF) Janice Gault has said that obstacles in travelling into Northern Ireland from international destinations along with different positions on COVID-19 restrictions on the island have proved to be "a real turn-off for visitors" this year.

As reported by The Irish News, the bulk of international tourists who visit Northern Ireland typically journey from across the border, but Gault said that confusion over COVID-19 travel restrictions resulted in Northern Ireland being removed from tour itineraries in 2021, and, "There are concerns that this position could continue in the 2022 season."

September Occupancy Rates

Gault's statements reportedly came as the NIHF revealed that hotel occupancy rates in Northern Ireland decreased from 75%-80% across July and August to 65% in September.

Northern Irish hotels reportedly experiened occupancy rates of 77%-79% in September of 2018 and 2019.

Additional Gault Statements

Business events and overseas visitors have reportedly yet to return to near normal levels, and Gault reportedly said that the new figures highlight the importance of international travel, conferences, and meetings to the industry.

The NIHF is reportedly now forecasting that occupancy rates will continue to slide through the winter, and Gault reportedly said, "There is uncertainty as we approach the winter trading period. The likelihood is that 2021 trading will taper out over the coming months resulting in an average occupancy level of 45%."

Gault reportedly said that while 2021 has proved to be a better year than some had feared, the the sector will still need significant assistance to survive, and, "Promotional campaigns in the domestic and GB market, along with the proposed 'Stay at Home' voucher scheme, are important initiatives in a winter when all support will be greatly welcomed.

"People are keen to take a break and the benefit of a dedicated accommodation voucher should not be underestimated. There is an uncertain winter ahead and buoying up consumer sentiment will greatly assist tourism."

© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.

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