Urgent action required to save 13,900 Wicklow hospitality jobs
Hotel and guesthouse owners in Wicklow have appealed to the Government to introduce a series of urgent measures that could saves some of the 13,900 jobs locally reliant on the sector.
Over the past few weeks the industry has been decimated with over 85% of hotels closed nationally and the majority of the 260,000 employees laid off or on short-time.
The Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) urged the Government to implement a number of key measures to assist the sector. These include:
*A 12-month debt holiday;
*Interest free loans;
*Local authority rates and water rates to be deferred for 12 months;
*Tourism VAT rate to be reduced to 0% for 12 months;
*Grants to enable businesses to survive and reopen.
Colm Neville, Chair of the South East branch of the IHF, said he appreciates the country is experiencing the greatest health crisis in living memory and that significant resources are being committed to address the overriding issue of public health.
But he warned: “Every day’s delay in implementing the measures, results in greater risks to our tourism and hospitality industry.
“The health and wellbeing of all citizens is intertwined with the economy, and people will need livelihoods after the crisis is over.
“Tourism supports 11% of total employment nationally. It is important to note that 70% of these jobs are outside of Dublin which highlights its vital role in spreading employment opportunities and prosperity across the entire country.
“Here in Wicklow tourism supported 13,900 jobs and generated €135m in local revenues before this crisis.
“At present most of our industry nationally is closed. We are seeking an urgent response to ensure that hotel and guesthouse properties are preserved and ready to scale up when the Covid-19 related restrictions are lifted,” Mr Neville added.