COVID-19: Urgent action required to save 6,300 Waterford hospitality jobs
Hotel and guesthouse owners in Waterford are calling on the Government to introduce a series of urgent measures that could saves some of the 6,300 jobs locally reliant on tourism.
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) is calling on the Government to assist the sector in this time of crisis and is asking for – 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; and grants to enable businesses to survive and reopen.
Colm Neville, Chair of the South East branch of the IHF 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. However, 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 Waterford tourism supported 6,300 jobs and generated €138m 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 concluded.