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Shandon Hotel & Spa forced to shut during recession announces 40 new jobs for Donegal

Demand: Carolynne Harrison
Demand: Carolynne Harrison

By Greg Harkin

A Donegal hotel that shut during the downturn has announced 40 new jobs in a €2m (£1.8m) expansion just two years after reopening.

The Shandon Hotel & Spa at Marble Hill Beach outside Dunfanaghy on the Wild Atlantic Way was closed down during the recession.

However, new owners stepped in to reopen the four-star resort in 2016 and have since expanded the property to 68 rooms.

"There is little doubt that the marketing of Donegal in the UK and the USA is paying huge dividends for us," said Shandon manager Carolynne Harrison.

"We had occupancy rates in the spring of over 90% and that has continued.

"The additional 18 rooms will help us meet the increasing demand through this summer."

New roles are being created including at the spa and a new hairdressing salon.

Ms Harrison said increasing numbers of tourists are coming from the UK, the US and elsewhere in the Republic.

"I believe this is going to be Donegal's best year for tourism and it is hugely significant for rural parts of the county and what that does for the local economy," he added.

"We are amazed at the increasing number of visitors from the UK and north America in particular and we are also seeing increasing numbers from the rest of the Republic, particularly from Dublin and Leinster generally.

"The retention of the 9% VAT rate was very important for the hospitality sector in rural Ireland.

"Communities like ours benefit from the extra tourists and of course from the extra jobs."

Belfast Telegraph