Belfast Telegraph

More than half of hotels in Republic see a decline in NI visitors

Challenges: Michael Lennon
Challenges: Michael Lennon

By Ellie Donnelly

Around 60% of hotels in the Republic are reporting a fall in customers from Northern Ireland, according to the latest survey from the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF).

Overall, hotels and guesthouse operators say they have seen mixed results for the key summer season. One in three says their business increased.

However, with just 27 days until the UK is due to leave the European Union, 80% of hotels reported a drop-off in business from Britain compared to last year.

And 60% saw a fall in customers from Northern Ireland, as a decrease in the value of sterling and Brexit uncertainty takes its toll.

IHF president Michael Lennon said businesses in the industry were particularly impacted along border counties, as well as in the South East region, which was hit by the cancellation of the Rosslare to France ferry service this year.

"Irish tourism has been one of the great success stories of the economy in recent years, supporting 270,000 jobs and promoting balanced regional growth across the country," Mr Lennon said.

"However, we are now at a crossroads and facing a number of pressing challenges including serious risks associated with Brexit, increasingly high costs of doing business in Ireland and ongoing difficulties in attracting visitors to the regions and extending the short tourism season," he added."

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