Rising insurance costs worry for hotels

Rising insurance costs worry for hotels
Hoteliers, Martin Cassidy, Cassidy Hotels and Terry McCoy, The Red Bank, Malahide with fellow hoteliers chatting at the IHF Conference in the Gleneagle Hotel, KIllarney. Photo: Don MacMonagle

Almost four out of five hotels have seen their insurance premiums hiked in the past year by an average of 15%, according to a report by the industry's main representative body.

The Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) called for "urgent action" on rising costs, with its chief executive claiming they were now at an unsustainable level, averaging €1,150 per guest bedroom annually.

Tim Fenn said: "The time for foot-dragging is long past. The Government must now deliver concrete results in relation to insurance reform. Progress has been extremely slow to date and this inaction is having serious consequences for the viability of hotels and other tourism businesses."

Mr Fenn claimed "exorbitant levels of awards and lack of consistency" was making the Republic less attractive for insurers who were shying away from hotels.

"We are seeing an increasing number that are no longer willing to provide cover to hospitality businesses. This, in turn, is reducing competition in the insurance market and driving up costs," Mr Fenn said.

The IHF's annual general meeting in Killarney heard that there were now 61,865 hotel and guesthouse bedrooms in Ireland, up from 60,875 in 2017.

There were just under 11 million visitors from abroad last year, with total tourism revenue of €9.42bn, the IHF said.

Hotels outside Dublin are facing serious challenges despite record tourism numbers, according to the IHF.

Mr Fenn said: "There are many areas where tourism remains very seasonal and hospitality businesses struggle to break even during off-peak periods.

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