Donegal hotels’ business sentiment slips


Business sentiment in Donegal and across the country has slipped according to an industry survey undertaken by the Irish Hotels Federation, ahead of its annual conference.

While 40% of hotel and guesthouse owners across the country report an increase in business levels compared to this time last year, 45% are reporting a drop.

Local Authority rates, Brexit, and water charges are among the key concerns among hoteliers.

Hoteliers' concerns about the high costs of doing business include what Donegal IHF Chair Paul Diver describes as 'hidden' costs, which aren't readily considered.

He says "Local authority rates are the single biggest cost that tourism businesses have no control over, claiming that hotels are making a disproportionate contribution to local authority funding.

He says a shake-up of local government funding is long overdue, and is calling on the incoming government to ensure a fairer distribution of the rates burden right across the country.

Higher water charges are another worry raised by members in the survey, as is the threat of a disruptive Brexit.

This is a particular issue in Donegal, as over 40% of hotels report a fall in business from Northern Ireland, and more than 60% seeing a drop from Great Britain.