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Hotels In Border Counties To Feel The Effect Of Brexit In 2017, Says IHF President

Published on Jan 4 2017 10:50 AM in Hotel tagged: Ireland's Ancient East / Airbnb / Brexit / Joe Dolan / The Wild Atlantic Way / Bush Hotel

Hotels In Border Counties To Feel The Effect Of Brexit In 2017, Says IHF President

Despite Irish tourism hitting new highs in 2016, regional destinations and businesses are to be the worst affected this year as a result of Brexit, according to Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) president Joe Dolan.

Dolan, who operates the Bush Hotel in Carrick-on-Shannon in Co Leitrim, had previously said that it was critical to rebalance the "inequitable spread" of tourism and that the industry does not expect growth rates from Britain to be sustainable. Speaking to he commented that smaller hotels in the likes of Donegal, Longford, Cavan and Monaghan should be worried as they rely heavily on short-break visitors from Northern Ireland.

"The UK market is our closest, largest market. They’re not the highest spending [market], but they penetrate every parish in Ireland. Their regional penetration is much higher than the Americans or mainland Europeans, who might go out to the more traditional tourism spots," said Dolan.

He was more positive towards the issue of Dublin's chronic lack of hotel rooms, saying it is of "a temporary nature" and will "iron itself out" in 2018 and 2019 when additional hotel developments are completed. However, he pointed out that the main problem facing hotel development is the site costs as "you're competing with office developments and apartment blocks which generate a higher and faster return on your investment".

Although he praised the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s Ancient East and Dublin A Breath of Fresh Air, the hotelier said he would like to see a rise in Tourism Ireland's €53 million marketing budget as "you’re competing with emerging destinations with big money and we’re competing on very mediocre marketing budgets".

Another issue facing the IHF was accommodation providers such as Airbnb, which he said have "no quality assurances" and leave guests with "a lack of adequate redress if something goes wrong".

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