THE Tower Hotel re-opened on July 20, after a long period of closure during the pandemic restrictions earlier this year. Management emerged with an optimism, and a new marketing campaign aimed at holidaymakers choosing to stay in Ireland. However, the Level 3 announcement last week has left Teresa Kelly, Company Director of Neville Hotels, deeply frustrated for the entire tourism industry.
Speaking to Waterford News & Star, she said: “The Level 3 restrictions that came into effect for the entire country has had a further devastating impact on the four hotels in our Group. Here at the Tower Hotel in Waterford, our room occupancies are already at rock bottom, and we now face severely restricted business levels over the coming weeks, should we manage to remain open for this period of restricted business.
“We believe the moving to Level 3 for the entire country is jeopardising essential parts of the economy and the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people throughout the country.”
Teresa has called for additional supports for the industry, in order to help hotels stay viable.
“Additional measures around employment supports, local authority rates waivers, reduced tourism VAT and grants to help businesses survive until the industry can start up again are now essential if the sector is to recover at all,” she said.
Further down the Quay, Dooley’s Hotel has also announced restricted services until October 27.
The Darrer family announced on their social media channels that the hotel will remain open, but with services limited to residents and overnight guests, including those travelling for work, education and essential purposes.
New public health restrictions limit weddings to 25 people and the outdoor area can only cater for a maximum of 15 people (non-residents).
“The last six months have been difficult for many and for the hospitality industry in particular. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our staff for their commitment, hard work and dedication in what have been challenging circumstances. We’d also like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to our customers and guests, who we have had the pleasure to welcome through the doors of our hotel. While the current restrictions are necessary to keep us all safe, it is up to each of us to do everything in our power to stop the spread of Covid-19.”
Also staying open for the three weeks of additional restrictions is Faithlegg House Hotel & Golf Club who are encouraging local spending through the new nationwide Stay and Spend tax credit initiative. The scheme allows a paying customer to claim an income tax credit on expenses over \25 in the hotel. This alone will be challenging however, as in those three weeks, intercounty travel is prohibited for the most part, leaving occupancy down across the board.