Hoteliers Open Letter to Government: Let us help make Christmas safer

  • Call on Government for balanced approach with inter-county travel
  • Latest HSPC figures show only 0.1% clusters in hotels, supporting safety track record
  • IHF warns against missed opportunity that could devastate hotels and impact many local economies


26th November 2020                     Hotels and guesthouses across the country are urging the Government to reopen hotels and allow people to travel outside their county from the beginning of December. In an open letter to Ministers1 today, Tim Fenn, Chief Executive of the Irish Hotels Federation says failure to do so would be a missed opportunity that could have a detrimental impact on public buy-in to Covid-19 restrictions and limit the choice of safer options where families can meet in the run-up to Christmas.

“Public health is the No 1 priority, and we understand the difficult challenges and choices facing Government in reopening society in a safe way. However, continuing to restrict people’s ability to travel during the month of December takes a sledgehammer to an issue that is much more nuanced. Why restrict people’s ability to travel outside their county to stay in a hotel or dine in a hotel setting when they are proven to provide safe, controlled environments? With just 0.01% of clusters2 linked to hotels, according to the latest HPSC figures, hotels should be viewed as an important part of the infrastructure in enabling a safer Christmas. We urge the Government to recognise the role we can play in ensuring a safer Christmas.”

Mr Fenn added: “Government must take a more balanced approach to the revised restrictions and in doing so, it is crucial to have a complete understanding of the economic costs involved and the longer-term implications. For many hotels, bookings within their own county would account for less than 10% of their December turnover. There is therefore scant difference between level three and level five restrictions in terms of how hotels can operate.

“Hotels and guesthouses across the country would face significant loss in revenue next month if the mooted Government restrictions go ahead. Given the enormous loss of revenue already this year, this will have a devastating impact – not only on hotels, but on their local economies, employees and communities,” he stated.




Seán Lawless / Ger McCarthy

Weber Shandwick                                                        Mobile:  085 11 676 40 / 086 2333590



Notes to Editor:

1Letter to Government Ministers [LINK]

2The latest figures from the HSPC of COVID-19 Outbreaks/Clusters in Ireland can be found here [LINK]


Tourism sector at a glance (prior to COVID-19 pandemic)

  • 10.9 million out of state visitors
  • Tourism accounts for almost 4% of GNP
  • Total tourism revenue of €9.2 billion in 2019 (including carrier receipts)
  • Tourism industry created over 90,000 new jobs since 2011. Before the COVID-19 crisis it supported almost 270,000 jobs, equivalent to 11% of total employment in Ireland with over 65,000 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)


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