Following a strong summer season, hotels and guesthouses in Sligo have reported an upturn in business during the first nine months of 2015.
That’s according to the latest quarterly barometer from the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF).
With overseas visitors to Ireland up 12% year to date, local hoteliers are reporting an increase in business from key markets such as Britain, North America, and continental Europe.
The industry survey shows that 90% of Irish hoteliers are now optimistic about the trading conditions for their business over the next 12 months. 64% of hotels and guesthouses have increased staffing levels over the last year while 55% plan to take on further staff during the next 12 months.
Brian Pierson, Chair of the Sligo Branch of the IHF, says that confidence among hoteliers is steadily improving as the recovery in tourism strengthens.
“Irish tourism has performed strongly since the start of the year and throughout the summer season, with overseas visitors now on track to reach over 7.8 million by year end – a level not seen since 2007.
The improved outlook for future trading conditions is providing a significant boost to tourism businesses in Sligo, including hotels and guesthouses,” says Mr Pierson.
He said that Sligo’s tourism and hospitality sector continues to act as a strong engine for economic growth and job creation.
He pointed out that Sligo’s tourism and hospitality sector supports 4,400 jobs and contributes some €85m to the local economy annually.
“The 9% VAT rate, in particular, is of enormous importance to tourism businesses – helping to level the playing field when competing with international destinations for visitors. With revenues being continually reinvested within the sector, the initiative continues to enable the industry to create additional employment – both nationally and locally in Sligo.
This is good news for the local economy as the majority of hotels and guesthouses plan to increase staffing levels further over the next twelve months,” he said.