Hotels and guesthouses will have seen a combined €5.3bn drop in revenues across 2020 and 2021 as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF).
The latest IHF report found that average national room occupancy levels stand at 22 per cent for the year to date.
With the summer season now over, bookings are expected to take a further dip.
Under the most optimistic scenario for the remainder of 2021, average occupancy is projected to reach 32 per cent for year as whole — a “significant collapse in activity” compared with 2019, when room occupancy was 73 per cent.
This is “only a modest increase on the all-time historic low of 30 per cent” reached in 2020.
IHF chief executive, Tim Fenn, is urging the Government to give a commitment to continue supports until the summer of 2022.
Mr Fenn said: “Government supports have been a vital lifeline for tourism businesses, including hotels and guesthouses across the country — many of these businesses would not have survived without the emergency measures put in place throughout this crisis.
“We now have a long road to recovery ahead of us, and this will require further targeted assistance for tourism and hospitality and the almost 270,000 livelihoods supported by tourism before Covid — one in ten of all Irish jobs.”
Government measures sought by the IHF include the extension of the current EWSS employment supports until June 2022; the retention of the 9 per cent tourism VAT rate until after 2025 “to allow Irish tourism to compete internationally”; and the extension of the commercial rates waiver until June 2022 when the summer seasons begins.
The report listed the following hotel occupancy rates:
Occupancy Results Year to Date (Jan-Aug 2021)*
National room occupancy: 22 per cent
Dublin City and County: 14 per cent
Other Cities: 24 per cent
Border region: 27 per cent
Mid-West: 22 per cent
Midlands / Mid East: 25 per cent
South East: 31 per cent
South West: 27 per cent
West: 27 per cent
Advance Room Bookings for Sept-Dec 2021**
National room occupancy: 25 per cent
Dublin City and County: 16 per cent
Other Cities: 21 per cent
Border region: 32 per cent
Mid-West: 24 per cent
Midlands / Mid East: 29 per cent
South East: 37 per cent
South West: 28 per cent
West: 28 per cent
* Figures for Jan-Aug 2021 represent actual bookings achieved.
**Figures for Sept-Dec 2021 represent room currently booked in advance — these are likely to increase during the remainder of the year, bringing average annual room bookings for the country as a whole to 32 per cent based on projected future booking patterns.