Hotel revenues have "imploded" across the country as a result of the Level-3 restrictions that come into effect tonight, limiting guests to staying within the county they live in over the next three weeks, according to the Irish Hotels Federation.

It said over 1 million bed nights will be lost as a result of Covid restrictions during this period compared to last year.

The IHF said it is having a disastrous impact on the ability of hotels to stay open, with many hotels now facing enormous uncertainty for the remainder of the year and having to decide on whether or not to close.  

Hoteliers are calling for emergency intervention by the Government in the form of immediate additional supports directly targeting tourism and hospitality businesses. 

Tim Fenn, chief executive of the Irish Hotels Federation said that there is very little difference between Levels 3 and 5 for hotels.

"Our industry is swimming against the tide and in desperate need of a life-line from the Government. From midnight, hotels and guesthouses will effectively be left with empty properties and next to no ability to generate revenues," he said.

This is nothing short of a disaster for our industry and the hundreds of thousands of jobs supported by tourism across the country. This must be recognised by the Government with substantial supports in the upcoming budget," he added.
 
Mr Fenn said prior to Covid-19, tourism and hospitality supported the livelihoods of almost 270,000 people – one in ten jobs, with 70% of them located outside Dublin.

Some 100,000 of these jobs have been lost already and a further 100,000 are at risk.

"These jobs matter – not only to the people working within the industry but also to the wider economy, especially the many parts of regional Ireland where tourism is the only show in town," Mr Fenn stated.

He said additional sector specific measures are urgently required around employment supports, local authority rates waivers, reduced tourism VAT and grants to help businesses survive until the industry can start up again.

"The existing supports for the tourism industry are wholly inadequate given the restrictions. We call on the Government to adopt the Tourism Recovery Plan 2020-2023 prepared by the Tourism Recovery Taskforce, including their immediate priority recommendations," he added.