11,600 tourism jobs in Kerry at risk

11,600 tourism jobs in Kerry are at risk.

That’s according to the Irish Hotels Federation, which says hotel bookings have plummeted across the south west due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The latest survey by the Irish Hotels Federation shows a collapse in hotel bookings due to additional COVID-19 restrictions.

Based on current bookings, occupancy rates in the south west are 26% for October and 9% for November.

Since the Government COVID roadmap was revealed on September 15th, the weekly rate for new hotel bookings has dropped by 67%, that is coupled with data from the Central Statistics Office revealing an 84% drop in overseas visitors in August.

Chair of the Kerry IHF, Bernadette Randles says this is now make or break time and urgent, unprecedented intervention is needed from Government.

The IHF says €440 million in tourism revenue for the local economy has been lost this year and three quarters of tourism jobs in Kerry are at risk as businesses fight to survive.

The IHF wants a waiver on commercial rates, an increase in the employment wage subsidy scheme rates, a reduction in tourism VAT to 9% and liquidity measures in the upcoming budget.

It is also calling for a restoration of international travel backed up by an effective tracking, tracing and testing regime.