One Million Hotel Bednights Wiped Out Over Next 3 Weeks

Hoteliers Call for Urgent Budgetary Supports to Save Jobs


  • Latest restrictions will have devastating impact on hotels across the country
  • Many hotels now desperately trying to stay open and survive
  • 100,000 jobs gone already and another 100,000 now at risk without immediate Government supports


Tuesday, 6th October 2020: Hotel revenues have imploded across the country as a result of the Level-3 restrictions that come into effect tonight, limiting hotels to providing accommodation to guests living in their own county over the next three weeks. Over 1 million bednights will be lost as a result of Covid restrictions during this period compared to last year. This is having a disastrous impact on the ability of hotels to stay open, with many hotels now facing enormous uncertainty for the remainder of the year and having to decide on whether to close.

Hoteliers are calling for emergency intervention by the Government in the form of immediate additional supports directly targeting tourism and hospitality businesses. Tim Fenn, Chief Executive, Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) states: “There is very little difference between Levels 3 and 5 for hotels. Our industry is swimming against the tide and in desperate need of a life-line from the Government. From midnight, hotels and guesthouses will effectively be left with empty properties and next to no ability to generate revenues. This is nothing short of a disaster for our industry and the hundreds of thousands of jobs supported by tourism across the country. This must be recognised by the Government with substantial supports in the upcoming budget.”

“Prior to Covid-19, tourism and hospitality supported the livelihoods of almost 270,000 people – one in ten jobs, with 70% of them located outside Dublin. Some 100,000 of these jobs have been lost already and a further 100,000 are at risk. These jobs matter – not only to the people working within the industry but also to the wider economy, especially the many parts of regional Ireland where tourism is the only show in town.”

“Additional sector specific measures are urgently required around employment supports, local authority rates waivers, reduced tourism VAT and grants to help businesses survive until the industry can start up again. The existing supports for the tourism industry are wholly inadequate given the restrictions. We call on the Government to adopt the Tourism Recovery Plan 2020-2023 prepared by the Tourism Recovery Taskforce, including their immediate priority recommendations.”

“Tourism is proven to be an engine for economic recovery following the financial crisis and it can be again with the right Government supports. Hotels and guesthouses are a key component of its infrastructure. A failure to support the industry now will have ramifications for the future of Ireland’s tourism offering and for the economy that could take decades to remedy.”

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Media Queries:
Weber Shandwick: Seán Lawless / Ger McCarthy
Mob: 085 11 676 40 / 086 2333590

Notes to Editor:

Tourism Recovery Plan 2020-2023: https://www.ihf.ie/content/weekly-occupancy-survey-alerts

Tourism sector at a glance - Pre-Covid / figures for 2019:

  • 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 created over 90,000 new jobs since 2011. Before the COVID-19 crisis it supported 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)


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