Irish hotels are forecast to lose almost 3.3 million bednight bookings between now and the end of the year due to current Covid-19 restrictions, the Irish Hotel Federation (IHF) has warned.
The IHF warns that 100,000 jobs are gone already and another 100,000 are now at risk without immediate Government supports to keep them afloat.
An IHF survey of 301 premises across the country revealed that hotel room occupancy rates are at 17pc for October and 10pc for November and for December based on business currently booked.
Dublin City and County Hotel and guesthouses have the lowest occupancy rates with just 10pc of rooms in premises surveyed currently booked for November and December.
The hotel body says it is ‘make-or-break time’ for many hotels, and without government support in the upcoming budget, it may take the hospitality sector decades to recover from losses due to the pandemic.
Hoteliers are calling for emergency intervention by the Government in the form of immediate additional supports.
IHF Chief Executive Tim Fenn says the industry needs help and needs it now.
“Ireland’s hugely successful tourism sector, which supported 270,000 livelihoods pre-Covid, one in ten of all Irish jobs, has been brought to its knees as a direct consequence of additional Government restrictions.
“Over 100,000 jobs have been lost so far with a further 100,000 at imminent risk as many hotels struggle to stay open in the face of enormous uncertainty for the remainder of the year. In the coming weeks, they will have to decide whether or not to close.
Existing supports for the tourism industry are wholly inadequate given the current restrictions. Urgent and unprecedented intervention by the Government is essential to support tourism and safeguard the thousands of jobs that are at risk.
“Sector specific measures are required as a matter of urgency including enhanced employment subsidies, a reduction in tourism VAT, extended waiver of local authority rates and greater access to banking finance.
“Failure to support the tourism sector could have far-reaching social and economic implications that could take decades to recover,” Mr Fenn said.