New results from the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) have shown that the vast majority of Irish hoteliers are concerned about the impact that Brexit will have on their business over the next 12 months.
According to the results, 95% of hoteliers across the country are worried about the impending departure from the EU, with 49% saying they are ‘very concerned’ about what will happen.
While the economic uncertainty has fuelled these concerns, results have also shown that so far since the outcome of the referendum, the tourism industry has performed strongly so far.
Nine out of ten hoteliers have reported that business levels are up compared to last year, with overseas visitor numbers up 14%. The conference and events markets are faring well too, with 60% of hoteliers saying they have seen an increase in this area of their business.
The UK is Ireland’s largest source of inbound tourists, accounting for over 40% of overseas visitors into the country.
Two out of three (66%) hoteliers are seeing an increase in home-grown business with an increase in consumer confidence leading to more people taking holidays at home. In turn, this confidence is enabling hoteliers to invest more widely in their businesses, with 89% indicating they plan to carry out refurbishments over the next 12 months and 63% saying they want to increase their marketing spend.
IHF President Joe Dolan warns however, that the continued recovery in the sector cannot be taken for granted.
The latest hotels barometer reveals that three in ten (30%) hoteliers are still concerned about the viability of their business over the next 12 months, notwithstanding any impact from the UK’s pending departure from the EU.
Commenting on the research, IHF President Joe Dolan said: “Increased investment in product development and marketing is vital to the long-term success of our tourism product. Time and time again, Irish tourism has shown itself to be an excellent investment with every euro spent in destination marketing by the state resulting in €34 being spent by visitors in the country.”
He added, “Now is not the time to take this investment for granted, particularly given the uncertainty around Brexit and the potential impact on visitor numbers from the UK.”