The massive volume of migrants now in Ireland could cause major capacity shortages in hotels and guesthouses, says Irish Tourism Sector – – Our News, Your Views

The massive volume of migrants now in Ireland could cause major capacity shortages in hotels and guesthouses, says Irish Tourism Sector

The representative body of the tourism sector has warned that if the level of tourist accommodation used to accommodate Ukrainian refugees and asylum seekers does not decline, the coming year will have a major ripple effect for the sector.

The Irish Tourism Industry Confederation (ITIC) said almost one in four tourist accommodation is currently being used to fulfil government contracts, and the number appears to be growing week by week.

Last month, the Department for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth said that some 60,000 people from Ukraine or who had come here seeking international protection are now housed there.

A large number of them stay in hotels, guest houses or other accommodation facilities.

“I think it’s high time that the Government produced a comprehensive plan, which outlined exactly what sort of accommodation services will be provided to refugees and asylum seekers going forward,” O’Mara Walsh said, speaking to the News at One program in RTE.

The department has forecast a shortage of 15,000 beds by December as arrivals remain at high levels.

Integration Minister Roderic O’Gorman said the government recognizes that several hotels and guest houses will want to convert a tourist offer next year and that this will present a challenge in hosting refugees and asylum seekers.

Some of the measures under development include 700 modular housing units, refurbishment of vacant institutional buildings, a vacant housing lawsuit and doubling the recognition payment to €800, he said.

He added that the government will monitor the situation and will also have to make hotel contracts with many suppliers.

Other forms of housing will also be studied, such as the reuse of offices.

According to RTE, Elaina Fitzgerald Kane, President of ITIC, said: “The tourism industry cannot be asked, to its own detriment, to be the primary provider of accommodation.”

The organization said it will publish an analysis next week on the likely impact these government contracts will have on the broader tourism economy.

It will require a more creative solution including modular homes, vacation homes, government buildings, and vacant homes.

ITIC said it was also concerned about the impact that rising costs and a deteriorating global economic outlook could have on the industry in 2023.

FitzGerald Kane said the problems could serve to stall the industry’s recovery.

She asked for more help with energy bills from the government and the extension of the 9% VAT rate for next year.

The TIC published the comments when it published its latest monthly tourism dashboard compiled with AIB.

It shows that in October, international visitor arrivals were down 7% compared to October 2019 and down 19% from the beginning of the year.

The continental European market performed the best for the month, with the key North American market also performing well with 196,000 visitors.

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