Irish Country Hotels join Guaranteed Irish
Huge increase in bookings in traditional Irish hotels
Taoiseach announces Irish Country Hotels to join Guaranteed Irish
BOOKINGS in traditional, Irish family-owned hotels have increased in the first two months of this year, indicating a trend towards ‘real Irish’ holidays for the 2012 season.
New figures released today (March 22nd) by Irish Country Hotels, a collection of 26 family-run hotels across Ireland, reveal a 21 per cent increase in bookings for January and February compared to the same period in 2011.
The figures were unveiled as Taoiseach, Mr Enda Kenny TD, announced the inclusion of Irish Country Hotels as the latest member of Guaranteed Irish at an event in Buswells Hotel in Dublin. They are the first hotels to be given the Guaranteed Irish logo, Ireland's most trusted and recognised symbol for Irish manufactured goods and services.
The Irish Country Hotel bookings for January and February show a significant rise in business from the overseas market, in particular from France and the USA.
· Total increase in bed night bookings for the first two months of the year is up 21 per cent.
· Growth in bookings from the overseas market for this period is up 19 per cent.
· The highest increase in bookings is from France, which has seen a rise of 84 per cent.
· The number of bookings from the USA is up 73 per cent more remarkable as Americans don’t usually travel in an election year.
Figures for 2011 show an increase in visitors for the year 20 per cent, with revenue up 16 per cent .
“These figures are great news and will have a good impact on employment in the small communities where these traditional Irish properties are located.” according to Mary Fitzgerald, Group Chairperson of Irish Country Hotels. “Our main focus has been overseas, and we believe the new lower VAT for hotels is having an impact . If these figures continue we will be able to employ more part time workers this season. A 20% growth means 20% more beds to be made, breakfasts to be served, more tourists spending in shops etc so it is good for all the community. “
Irish Country Hotels comprises 26 traditional Irish hotel businesses who between them employ 1,141 full time and approximately 800 part-time staff. Spread throughout the country from as far north as Dunfanaghy in Co Donegal down to Baltimore in Co Cork, the hotels have a total of 1,190 bedrooms.
A quarter of a century in existence this year, Irish Country Hotels is run as a co-operative. While it has been marketed overseas and is now an internationally recognised brand, it is also embarking on a campaign to increase business from the domestic market.