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Irish Country Hotels join Guaranteed Irish
26 March 2012
March 22nd: Taoiseach announces Irish Country Hotels to join Guaranteed Irish
BOOKINGS in traditional, Irish family-owned hotels have increased in the first two months of this year, indicating a trend towards ‘real Irish’ holidays for the 2012 season.
New figures released today (March 22nd) by Irish Country Hotels, a collection of 26 family-run hotels across Ireland, reveal a 21 per cent increase in bookings for January and February compared to the same period in 2011.
The figures were unveiled as at Taoiseach, Mr Enda Kenny TD, announced the inclusion of Irish Country Hotels as the latest member of Guaranteed Irish at an event in Dublin. They are the first hotels to be given the Guaranteed Irish logo, Ireland's most trusted and recognised symbol for Irish manufactured goods and services.
The Irish Country Hotel bookings for January and February show a significant rise in business from the overseas market, in particular from France and the USA.
- Total increase in bed night bookings for the first two months of the year is up 21 per cent.
- Growth in bookings from the overseas market for this period is up 19 per cent.
- The highest increase in bookings is from France, which has seen a rise of 84 per cent.
- The number of bookings from the USA is up 73 per cent more remarkable as Americans don’t usually travel in an election year.
Figures for 2011 show an increase in visitors for the year of 20 per cent, with revenue up 16 per cent .
“These figures are great news and will have a good impact on employment in the small communities where these traditional Irish properties are located.” according to Mary Fitzgerald, Group Chairperson of Irish Country Hotels. “Our main focus has been overseas, and we believe the new lower VAT for hotels is having an impact . If these figures continue we will be able to employ more part time workers this season. A 20% growth means 20% more beds to be made, breakfasts to be served, more tourists spending in shops etc so it is good for all the community. “
Irish Country Hotels comprises 26 traditional Irish hotel businesses who between them employ 1,141 full time and approximately 800 part-time staff. Spread throughout the country from as far north as Dunfanaghy in Co Donegal down to Baltimore in Co Cork, the hotels have a total of 1,190 bedrooms.
A quarter of a century in existence this year, Irish Country Hotels is run as a co-operative. While it has been marketed overseas and is now an internationally recognised brand, it is also embarking on a campaign to increase business from the domestic market.
Operated mainly by family owners, the hotels offer an Irish welcome for customers with a strong ethos of supporting local business. They include some of the best known family hotels in Ireland including Clewbay Hotel Westport, Headfort Arms ,Kells and Millpark Hotel Donegal.
“We feel we are an ideal fit for Guaranteed Irish. The owners of our hotels have a big connection with their community, and this is reflected in their commitment to buying goods locally where possible. We support artisan producers and provide rooms and facilities to local charities and sports organisations.” according to Mary Fitzgerald Group Chairperson of the Irish Country Hotels. “There is an important spin-off for local businesses and huge potential to increase jobs. The more people we attract to towns, the more business that is done in that area.”
Executive Director of Guaranteed Irish, Tom Rea, today welcomed Irish Country Hotels as the latest member of the organsiation.
“We are delighted to have Irish Country Hotels sign up to Guaranteed Irish. As is reflected in other sectors, there is evidence that Irish people want to support the Irish hospitality industry including hotels as much as possible. The standard in Irish Country Hotels is very high. Members are contributing significantly to their local areas and are competing on price and quality.”
He added: “With evidence that consumer spending is down across the board it is more important than ever that we think Irish. Buying Irish means we can secure and create Irish jobs. The Guaranteed Irish symbol is a flag that calls Irish consumers to rally in support of Irish products and services at a time when their help is most needed.” he concluded.
Analysis commissioned by Guaranteed Irish in 2011 shows that even a modest increase in spend of €4 per household per week on Guaranteed Irish goods and services could create over 6,200 new jobs in Ireland.
The analysis by Amárach Research shows that the average Irish household spends just under €16 a week on Guaranteed Irish products and services. (See appendix below)
The Guaranteed Irish membership includes a wide range of products and services extending to the pharmaceutical, building, recruitment, food, clothing and giftware market and now for the first time hotels.
For more information contact:
Miriam Donohoe, MD Media, 087 2393914
About Guaranteed Irish:
The Guaranteed Irish logo is Ireland's most trusted and recognised symbol for Irish manufactured goods and services. It is a registered certification trademark and can only be used on products that are registered with Guaranteed Irish.
The Guaranteed Irish program was established by the Irish Goods Council in 1975. Since then, it has become one of the most recognized brands in the country appearing on everything from children's copy books to bags of sugar and even software packages. In 1982 the European Court ruled against the operation of the scheme by a state funded agency. To continue with this valuable service to industry and the community, Guaranteed Irish Limited was formed in 1984 as an independent non-profit company to
About Irish Country Hotels:
Irish Country Hotels,is a collection of 27 individual family owned and run hotels located throughout the country. The keystone of the group is its ability to reflect the very best of Irish heritage and traditional values of hospitality with the highest standards of care and attention. The hotel owners have a genuine interest in the wellbeing of its guests ensureing they have a great stay in their community. There is a genuinely warm welcome, natural ease and a friendly and informal style of service. The atmosphere is relaxed, the comfort and warmth enveloping and your enjoyment of the time spent with us is assured.
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