Hotels and guesthouses in Galway are confident of improving business for 2014, according to the latest Irish Hotels Federation’s quarterly barometer findings.
The study of IHF members carried out shows that some 86 per cent of hotel and guesthouses have expressed an optimistic view for future trading conditions in 2014, with 72 per cent of respondents indicating an increase in advance summer bookings compared to the same period last year, where four per cent reported a decrease.
With the growth in domestic tourism and advanced bookings, 42 per cent of hoteliers state they expect to increase staffing levels over the coming 12 months. However 73 per cent of hotel and guesthouse owners expressed difficulty recruiting qualified craft and entry level staff, compared to 64 per cent last year.
Hotel and guesthouse owners also had concerns around utility costs, excess capacity, and consumer confidence.
Paul Gill, chair of the Galway Branch of the IHF, says that despite the upturn, the hotels’ sector is still a number of years away from becoming sustainable, and that hoteliers are “finding it more difficult to find qualified staff for entry level positions and this will significantly hinder the prospect of achieving the target to increase tourism related jobs by in excess of 40,000 between now and 2020”.