Holiday home rental firm Cottages.com has announced that it is exiting the Irish market.
The firm's parent company, Vacation Rental (UK), has sent letters to hundreds of property owners on the island of Ireland informing them that it will cease operating on the island at the end of 2020.
According to The Irish Times, the company said in the letter, which was signed by its vice-president of property recruitment, Shelley D'Arcy, "In light of COVID-19, we have had to review our business model and, as a result, will cease to trade in and will permanently suspend sale of properties in both Northern and the Republic of Ireland at the end of this year.
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"This means we are hereby serving notice to terminate the agreement between us. Accordingly, your property (or properties) will not be advertised or available for booking on our websites."
The company stated that it will honour bookings for the 2020 season.
"A Big Blow"
The Irish Times quotes Irish Self-Catering Federation president Jacinta Doolan as saying in response to the announcement, "It's a big blow for the owners affected. Anyone who pulls out of Ireland from the UK market is a major blow. But if this had been a few years ago when they had 900 Irish properties on their books, it would have been a really major blow."
Doolan also expressed her optimism for the self-catering sector's medium-term outlook, saying, "Self-catering is flavour of the month these days and, for 2021/22, the overseas market is going crazy for self-catering."
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Fáilte Ireland stated, "Self-catering is hugely important for Irish tourism, particularly now, at this time of great crisis for the industry. There has been a steady growth in self-catering holidays, especially in recent years. The effect of COVID-19 on the Irish tourism sector has been catastrophic, and this news is a further blow."
© 2020 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.