“The strong growth in tourism achieved in recent years illustrates the economic and job-creating potential of our industry both at a national and local level,” he told the conference, “Every €uro in tourism revenue generates €2.16 in indirect revenue across the wider economy, reaching into every town and county in the country.”
But he cautioned that while last year international arrivals into Europe grew by 6%, “In Ireland our overseas numbers grew by just 3% compared to an increase of 9% the previous year”.
The IHF conducted a Barometer Survey in advance of its 80th Annual Conference in the Slieve Russell Hotel, County Cavan.
The UK market remains a significant concern with over half (56%) of hoteliers reporting a drop in business from Great Britain compared to this time last year and almost four in 10 seeing a drop from Northern Ireland.
“More needs to be done to bring down the high costs that are stifling business in Ireland such as insurance, where the costs are now so high they are a significant concern for almost nine in ten hoteliers (88%),” said IHF President Joe Dolan.
Employment growth within the hotel sector also looks set to continue in 2018 with over half of hoteliers (52%) expecting to increase their staffing levels.