Hoteliers in North West losing optimism over year ahead

Hoteliers across the North West are said to be losing optimism over the year ahead.


The outlook has been deemed challenging, owing to high business operating costs, coupled with concerns about the economy.


It comes as hoteliers as they gather today for the Irish Hotels Federation’s 86th Annual Conference.


The gathering takes place this year in the Slieve Russell Hotel, County Cavan.


Only 47% of hoteliers reported a positive outlook for trading conditions over the next 12 months.


This contrasts with 74% who reported a positive outlook at the same time last year.


Hoteliers ranked rising business costs as the most serious challenge facing their business this year, with early forecasts indicating further increases of in excess of 8% in operating costs over the year ahead, significantly outpacing levels of inflation within the wider economy.


This follows a period of already unprecedented cost increases over the last two years.


Some 79% of hotels indicated they were concerned about the outlook for the global economy and the potential impact on their business. Forward bookings for the year ahead are now down 4.5% compared to this time last year, with 53% of hotels reporting a net decrease in bookings.


Of particular concern is the domestic market along with the UK and rest of Europe. Bookings for North America are holding up, however, which is very welcome given the growing importance of this key market as a source of tourism revenue.