IHF Says An Estimated 100,000 Hotel Sector Jobs Have Been Lost This Year
According to the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF), an estimated 100,000 of the 270,000 direct and indirect jobs that the hotel sector supported at the beginning of 2020 have been lost due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, and a further 100,000 are currently at risk.
Accommodation venues that participated in a newly-published IHF survey, in which 307 hotels and guesthouses took part, reported a 70% year-on-year drop in projected revenues for September, and said that bookings for September and October have plunged, with average national room occupancy levels being down by 62% year-on-year for the two month period to 24% nationally. This follows a 41% year-on-year drop in average national occupancy levels to 49% during the July and August period.
Call For More Support
IHF president Elaina Fitzgerald Kane stated, "The existing supports are totally inadequate for our industry, given the current restrictions. If appropriate measures are not put in place, more jobs will be lost.
Fitzgerald Kane added, "The measures contained in the government’s stimulus package do not go far enough to address the unique and existential challenges facing our industry. In particular, they fail to deliver adequate supports around competitiveness and liquidity in particular."
The IHF is calling on the government to implement a number of support measures, including an increase of Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) rates to the previous Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme levels of €350/€410 per week; additional liquidity measures including an extension of the moratorium on bank term loans from six months to 12 months to help fund hotels during the coming months; an extension of the local authority rates waiver period for tourism businesses to coincide with business interruption due to COVID-19 and for a minimum of 12 months; and a permanent restoration of the tourism VAT rate to 9%.
© 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.