The General Manager of the five star luxury Dromoland Castle hotel has said that the hotel has lost €50,000 in bookings over the last 48 hours.

Mark Nolan said that the Co Clare hotel has recorded the cancellations after the Government's Friday evening announcement confirming that restrictions concerning inter-county travel are to remain in place until December 18th.

"We have had a big wash out of €50,000 of bookings in the past 48 hours for December," Mr Nolan said.

He stated that the hotel was planning to open on December 2nd "and have a reasonable level of business coming up to Christmas".

He stated that with the inter-county travel restriction remaining in place, the hotel will now open only at weekends until a full re-opening on December 18th.

Mr Nolan said: "Until December 18th, we are hoping that the Clare people will stay with us, but it is tough."

Mr Nolan said he was "disappointed but not surprised" by the inter-county restrictions remaining in place.

"I think the Covid numbers were not where they wanted them to be," he said.

The luxury resort is currently going through its second Covid-19 enforced shutdown of 2020 and Mr Nolan stated that revenues will be down "a lot" this year on last year.

"I am a long time in this business and I hope I never put a year down like this from everyone’s point of view. It is times like this is when you realise what a fabulous team you have," he said.

60% of Dromoland’s business during a normal year is from the US and Mr Nolan stated that the hotel achieved a 40% occupancy during August as a result of 'staycationer’ business.

"We got a pretty high room rate at around €400 per room per night during August. It is good to see that there is that ability in the Irish market to pay that for good quality accommodation," he said.

Mr Nolan added that without Government Covid-19 supports, "I don’t think we would have opened our doors".

Mr Nolan made his remarks when commenting on new accounts showing that Dromoland Castle Holdings Ltd and subsidiaries last year recorded an operating profit of €498,269.

This followed revenues increasing by 2% from €22.59m to €23m.

The operating profit takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of €2.18m.

The accounts also include the performance of the nearby Inn at Dromoland hotel and the group recorded a pre-tax profit of €7,558 after paying interest payment of €490,711.

Mr Nolan stated that the performance came after a four year €20m investment programme "which has made the product much stronger and we are able to yield higher room rates and that was the key to last year".

Mr Nolan stated that the hotel is projecting growth to return in the second half of next year.

He stated that he will be presenting to his board this coming Friday on plans for 2021 "and there are about 14 caveats in there".

"Nobody has got a crystal ball here," he said.

"We are realists. We are going to try to do the best we can and be as creative as we can to keep going."

He added: "We are reasonably upbeat and we believe that we are over the worst. We will come through this - there are better days ahead."

Staff costs at the business last year totaled €9.6m as numbers employed amounted to 395.

The hotel last year paid dividends of €247,785.

The business last year recorded €11.7m from rooms, €8.9m from food and drink; €2.1m from golf, leisure and spa and €227,942 from 'miscellaneous'.

Shareholder funds totaled €17.7m.