Ahead of its annual conference tonight in the Knightsbrook Hotel, the Irish Hotel Federation have called for a 30% cut in local authority rates for its members, as well as cuts to water and energy costs.
In a statement released by the group, the IHF said the high cost of doing business in Ireland was the industry’s “single most pressing issue”. According to the IHF, some hotels were paying local authorities rates of up to €3,000 a room, regardless of occupancy.
They also claim that the average local authority rate works out at €1,500 per bedroom, regardless of occupancy rate.
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“The hotels sector stabilised in 2013, largely as a result of the relentless work of hotels and guesthouses to slash costs where there was any level of flexibility," said IHF president Michael Vaughan (pictured).
"We have brought costs down by a massive 24% since 2008. Hotels are now much leaner, having restructured their business models throughout the downturn, improved their products and lowered prices.
“There is nowhere else for hoteliers to go to cut costs and increase our competitiveness. Government determined costs on the other hand have not changed to adapt to the new economic reality," said Vaughan.
“It’s now over a decade since the 2001 Valuation Act came into force and yet over two thirds of hotels are still waiting to have their rates reviewed by the Commissioner of Valuation. Those that have been revised saw reductions of over 30%.
The annual IHF two-day conference starts today.