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Media Statement


18th March 2020

Government Must Act Extremely Quickly to Ensure Large Parts of the Economy are not Obliterated


Statement from Elaina Fitzgerald Kane, President of the Irish Hotels Federation:

The Irish Hotels Federation welcomes the initial measures announced by the Minister for Finance, Pascal Donohue today. However they fall well short of addressing the significant challenges being faced now by businesses. Safeguarding public health is our absolute priority but this must go hand in hand with ensuring we have a viable economy after this crisis has passed. Decisive action is needed now to save large parts of the economy and the future livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people, including 260,000 jobs in tourism and hospitality.

One of the lessons learnt from the financial crisis was the requirement to act extremely quickly so that large parts of the economy are not obliterated, with long-term consequences. Cash flow is the killer of businesses in crises like this. The IHF is calling on An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Finance Paschal to implement measures that will assist with cash flow now as well as reducing the rates of VAT and PRSI, and arrangements for the deferral of these payments. We also call on the Government to waive local authority rates until this crisis is over, together with the introduction of direct business supports including finance and marketing assistance.

The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport with Ministers Shane Ross and Brendan Griffin have recognised the deep crisis facing the tourism, hospitality and leisure sectors and sought Government agreement for urgent assistance that would have eased cash flow pressures. The Government must safeguard this essential indigenous industry that employs over 260,000 across every town and county, accounting for one in every 10 jobs and contributing over €9.2 billion in revenue to the economy.

Tourism sector at a glance:

  • 10.9 million out of state visitors
  • Tourism accounts for almost 4% of GNP
  • Total tourism revenue of €9.2 billion in 2019
  • Tourism industry has created over 90,000 new jobs since 2011. It supports over 260,000 jobs, equivalent to 11% of total employment in Ireland with over 60,000 of these jobs in the hotel sector alone.
  • €7.25 billion in foreign exchange earnings
  • €1.96 billion in domestic tourism revenue in 2019
  • Total of 62,897 hotel and guesthouse bedrooms in Ireland (2019)


- ENDS -

Media Queries:

Seán Lawless / Ger McCarthy                                     Tel: 01 6798600

Weber Shandwick                                                         Mobile:  085 11 676 40 / 086 2333590



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