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  • NEW PRESIDENT OF IRISH HOTELS FEDERATION ELECTED | Irish Hotels Federation
    hotel group operating 34 hotels spread across fifteen counties with over 5 400 bedrooms and more than 3 500 employees During his presidency Stephen will address the many issues facing the hotel and guesthouse sector with particular emphasis on competitiveness and support for those properties that have experienced financial distress in recent years The Irish economy remains fragile especially outside the large cities I will intend to work with Government and national tourism bodies to maintain competitiveness and ensure growth plans are not challenged by increased legislation I would like a five year commitment from Government to maintain current VAT rates to give Ireland realistic opportunity to reach 10m overseas visitors by 2020 For the first time in over ten years Ireland is perceived as value for money We must maintain our focus on increasing sales and not be distracted by further burdensome legislation in relation to employment says Mr McNally Many hotel owners around the country continue to experience financial distress and we aim to provide members with improved support and advice to assist them in finding solutions to safeguard their livelihoods Following an extremely challenging six years we must now power on and work together with our tourism partners and the Government to increase tourist numbers into the next decade Increased tourism numbers means more jobs Our industry has created 23 000 jobs since 2011 and this will continue as the economy improves Originally from Enfield Co Meath Stephen is a graduate of Rockwell Hotel and Catering School He completed the Ramada Hotel Management programme and subsequently business courses at London Business School and UCD Michael Smurfit Business School Following graduation from Rockwell Stephen worked internationally in a number of management roles across the UK and Germany with the Ramada Hotel Group Returning to Ireland in the late

    Original URL path: http://www.ihf.ie/content/new-president-irish-hotels-federation-elected (2016-02-07)
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  • WINNERS OF GATHERING AWARDS ANNOUNCED BY THE IRISH HOTELS FEDERATION | Irish Hotels Federation
    Sponsored by Electric Ireland the awards were presented at the IHF s Annual Conference in Trim Co Meath by Michael Ring TD Minister of State at the Department of Transport Tourism and Sport Awards were presented to winners across five categories Best Sports Gathering Emerald Isle Gathering Best Arts Culture Gathering The Spirit of Mother Jones Festival Cork Best Family Gathering The Stack Clan Gathering Best Gathering Festival Kilkenny Tradfest Best Innovative Gathering The Kenmare Lace Festival Michael Vaughnan outgoing President of the IHF stated that The Gathering involved almost 5 000 events organised by families communities organisations and companies across the country and these awards celebrated the best of those events which helped make The Gathering Ireland an major success and the nation s largest ever tourism initiative Everyone who organised an event for the Gathering was an ambassador for Ireland and we are delighted to honour those outstanding events that celebrated the community spirit of The Gathering The Gathering was an enormous success in attracting additional overseas visitors particularly from North America which is up 15 this year Each of the winners receives a 2 000 bursary to be used to host a future event l r back

    Original URL path: http://www.ihf.ie/content/winners-gathering-awards-announced-irish-hotels-federation-0 (2016-02-07)
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  • HOTELIERS WELCOME CONTINUED GROWTH IN OVERSEAS VISITORS | Irish Hotels Federation
    boost from growth in overseas visitors up 8 2 Nov 2013 Jan 2014 Figures demonstrate continued momentum for tourism into 2014 Hoteliers more upbeat with 83 saying they have a positive outlook The Irish Hotels Federation IHF today welcomed the 8 2 increase in overseas visitors to Ireland during the period November 2013 to January 2014 link to CSO figures Stephen McNally President of the IHF said that the figures indicate a continued momentum behind overseas visitors up to the end of 2013 and into this year The positive impact on tourism is reflected in results of an IHF industry survey this month which shows that three quarters of hoteliers 75 are seeing an increase in business levels compared to this time last year while 65 are seeing an increase in advance bookings Looking at the prospects over the next twelve months the survey revealsa positive outlook among 83 of hotels and guesthouses It s particularly encouraging that strong growth is holding up from North America and Great Britain which are vital overseas markets for us says Mr McNally The early indications are positive for tourism this year and much of this is down to the Government s decision to

    Original URL path: http://www.ihf.ie/content/hoteliers-welcome-continued-growth-overseas-visitors (2016-02-07)
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  • ADDITIONAL 74,000 TOURISM JOBS POSSIBLE BY 2020 | Irish Hotels Federation
    from the current 196 000 employed today These jobs would be spread across every corner of the country creating sustainable indigenous local employment and contributing significantly to the export economy The IHF recommends three key priorities to ensure Irish tourism lives up to its full potential in terms of growth and employment 1 Commit to increased investment in tourism marketing and product development 2 Establish a high level strategy with detailed targets in co operation with relevant stakeholders cross industry and cross government 3 Greater facilitation of industry representation on tourism agency boards Mr McNally states that the first step needs to be a full restoration of the Tourism Marketing Fund s allocation by the Government which fell from 47 million in 2009 to 37 million this year This reduction was introduced despite the enormous return marketing investment delivers to the Irish economy generating 5 7 billion in tourism revenue last year alone Mr McNally also called for the creation of an annual capital investment fund of 30 million to be ring fenced for national tourism product development Irish tourism needs to be more ambitious in the targets it sets itself We need to be more aggressive incompeting for overseas holidaymakers and growing market share in our core markets such as North America and Europe says Mr McNally The priority now must be to increase the level of funding available to generate must see momentum behind Brand Ireland including additional investment in our natural product infrastructure and heritage attractions As an island destination with no passing footfall we have to do better and be smarter than our international competitors at marketing ourselves continues Mr McNally We ve traditionally punched above our weight in terms of brand awareness abroad but we now face a real risk of falling behind as international

    Original URL path: http://www.ihf.ie/content/additional-74000-tourism-jobs-possible-2020 (2016-02-07)
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  • HOTELIERS CALL FOR RADICAL CUTS TO PUBLIC SECTOR CHARGES | Irish Hotels Federation
    there was any level of flexibility 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 cost and increase our competitiveness says Mr Vaughan Government determined costs on the other hand have not changed to adapt to the new economic reality Call for 30 Reduction in Local Authority Rates The biggest single cost that hoteliers have no control over is local authority rates Hotels make a disproportionate contribution to local authority funding with many hoteliers being levied rates of up to 3 000 per bedroom and average local authority rates equating to 1 500 per bedroom regardless of occupancy rates It is effectively a stealth tax on tourism equal to approximately 7 per room per night before all other costs and taxes are taken into account 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 says Mr Vaughan The time for waiting is now over The Government needs to step up to the plate and take immediate action We re calling on Minister Phil Hogan to instruct the remaining local authorities to introduce the same reduction as an interim measure while we wait for revised valuations to be completed across the rest of the country In many cases the lack of action on local authority rates has affected hotels located in rural areas that are at the same time overly exposed to weak domestic consumer demand Mr Vaughan says This double blow is having a detrimental impact on hotels and creating a vicious circle by forcing them to significantly cut back on essential investment in marketing and refurbishment thereby threatening their viability Urgent Need to Tackle High Utility Costs Water and Energy An area of deep concern for hotels and guesthouses is the enormous level of duplication involved in setting up Irish Water Mr Vaughan states It is very difficult to see how this new structure will result in a more cost effective national water services unless substantial cost efficiencies are achieved The initial signs are not at all promising and there is real risk that businesses will end up paying higher water charges than those we currently pay as a result This would be entirely unacceptable to hotels and guesthouses Mr Vaughan cited energy related levies as another area of contention in particular the decisions by the Commission on Energy Regulation CER to impose additional levies on electricity customers at a time when businesses are facing a difficult economic environment He stated We are very concerned about future levels of the PSO levy and are calling for a fundamental review of the scope and burden of the PSO including the projected burden in the

    Original URL path: http://www.ihf.ie/content/hoteliers-call-radical-cuts-public-sector-charges (2016-02-07)
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  • HOTELIERS MORE OPTIMISTIC ABOUT TOURISM OUTLOOK FOR 2014 | Irish Hotels Federation
    East and parts of the West coast However business levels are continuing to lag in the Midlands Shannon region and North West Tim Fenn Chief Executive of the IHF states The Government s decision to retain the 9 VAT rate continues to help the industry when marketing Ireland abroad as a tourism destination Combined with increased air access and a continued upturn in the global economy this is enabling us to attract a greater share of overseas visitors This is directly feeding into increased confidence on the ground with over 65 of hoteliers planning to increase their investment in marketing next year and 77 planning to increase investment in refurbishment and product development Overhanging Debt Despite the significant upturn in overseas visitors achieved in 2013 the hotels sector is still a number of years away from achieving profitability due to excessive levels of overhanging debt As of the end of 2012 was debt in the sector was estimated to stand at 6 7bn over a third of this which is in the process of being restructured refinanced or recycled This continues to weigh heavily on the industry with some 54 of hoteliers saying they are concerned about the viability of their business over the next 12 months Mr Fenn says As a result of unsustainable amount of outstanding debt across the sector the cost of servicing the interest alone means many hotels will not break even in 2014 This is despite having survived five years of economic downturn and implemented extensive cuts in operating expenses which are now down 24 across the sector on 2008 levels Other concerns The cost of doing business in Ireland remains a major challenge with hoteliers citing excessive local authority rates as the single most pressing issue stifling cost competitiveness within the sector While the

    Original URL path: http://www.ihf.ie/content/hoteliers-more-optimistic-about-tourism-outlook-2014 (2016-02-07)
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  • SERIOUS SHORTAGE OF CRAFT/ENTRY-LEVEL STAFF | Irish Hotels Federation
    survey conducted by the IHF this month show that three out of every four hotels and guesthouses 75 have difficulties hiring trained workers to fill entry level positions within their businesses This compares with 64 who reported difficulties this time last year Michael Vaughan President states that the hotels sector faces a significant skills shortage at entry level that is getting progressively worse as the sector returns to growth He says that a clear role exists for SOLAS and the local Education and Training Boards to help address this demand We re calling on the Government to mandate SOLAS to set up of a dedicated Hospitality Training Unit to bring hospitality training into main stream alongside other industries says Mr Vaughan We need a new model for apprenticeships in our sector and greater clarity on how future training requirements will be met To be effective this must involve greater collaboration with industry and better use of existing resources across Education and Training Boards VECs and Institutes of Technology Highlighting the success of pro tourism initiatives such as the 9 VAT rate Mr Vaughan says it is disappointing that the Government is not working more closely with the industry on employment training particularly at FETAC levels 3 4 This is a missed opportunity to nurture the skills sets we need for the future With unemployment at over 12 our overriding objective must be getting people into the workforce and giving them an opportunity to develop their skills This is particularly important for those aged under 25 years who are at risk of becoming long term unemployed Appropriate training would provide them with possibly their first work experience and a valuable stepping stone in their careers Tourism Jobs Statistics Each year tourism businesses such as hotels guesthouses restaurants pubs and bars need

    Original URL path: http://www.ihf.ie/content/serious-shortage-craftentry-level-staff (2016-02-07)
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  • HOTELS SECTOR REPORT SHOWS SLIGHT INCREASE IN BEDNIGHTS | Irish Hotels Federation
    000 to 6 99 million in 2013 up 7 2 supported by a series of pro tourism initiatives by the Government such as the reduced tourism VAT rate and The Gathering which was enormously successful However growth potential was held back by subdued consumer demand from the island of Ireland which accounts for the majority of all hotel bednights 69 Mr Fenn notes that last year s tourism gains were not spread evenly across the country Many rural hotels continued to face the twin pressures of weak domestic demand and difficulties encouraging overseas visitors to venture outside the traditional tourism locations We re effectively seeing a three speed recovery with Dublin city centre positioned in the fast lane and tourism hotspots such as Cork Galway and Killarney doing fairly well Unfortunately rural areas such as the Midlands Shannon and North West are lagging behind due to their over dependence on local consumer spending Market overview Visitors from North America were up by 13 9 to 1 16 million in 2013 while visitors from mainland Europe were up 4 9 to 2 46 million Visitors from Britain Ireland s main tourism market were up by 5 6 to 2 93 million reflecting improved sentiment among British consumers However the British market remains a serious challenge with annual visitors still down over one million compared to 2007 levels Total revenue generated across all tourism related businesses in 2013 was up 5 at 5 7 billion and accounted for 4 GNP Of this 4 3 billion was attributed to foreign exchange earnings overseas visitors Home grown tourism was flat with revenues from the domestic market up 1 at 1 4 billion but significantly down on pre recession levels 2013 Room Occupancy Levels Overall 61 2012 60 Dublin 70 2012 69 East and Midlands

    Original URL path: http://www.ihf.ie/content/hotels-sector-report-shows-slight-increase-bednights (2016-02-07)
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