Cork hotels are battling the ‘tsunami of rising costs’, but tourism demand from the US market has increased


Hoteliers in CORK are battling a “tsunami of rising costs” but are experiencing a stronger-than-expected industry recovery, said IHF Cork branch chairman Joe Kennedy.

Mr Kennedy, who has worked in the industry for more than 20 years and manages the Maldron Hotel in Shandon, said from a business demand perspective things are looking up.

“Demand has returned much faster than expected by the industry. Tourism numbers for the summer look much stronger than expected, especially from the US market along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Mr Kennedy said the hospitality industry had been revamped in recent years to provide a more holistic outdoor experience.

Regarding the rising cost of living, Kennedy said the reality is that the cost of doing business has doubled, particularly around utilities.

“In my own hotel, utilities are up 100% from 2019, we are under fierce cost pressure for food, utilities, paper and linen costs, a huge tsunami of costs for the industry. So it’s great that we have the numbers that we have, because if we don’t it would be a disaster for hoteliers. Focusing on recruitment, the IHF Cork representative said the hospitality industry was no different from any other industry in some ways.

“Every industry is looking for staff, but the difference is that we are actually in a rebuilding phase.

“We’re rebuilding teams and getting people back to work, it’s a process and it will take time.

“The problem is that we are competing against other industries, the unemployment rate is currently very low and there are technically more jobs than people, so this is going to be a huge challenge for all industries.

Cork Airport is also predicting a good season ahead.

Cork Airport car park signage. photo ; Larry Cummins.

“Cork is well connected giving great access,” a spokesperson said.

They added that work is still underway to try to secure connectivity with the US East Coast.

Looking ahead, the spokesman said Cork Airport is expecting an “extremely strong and busy summer, both outbound and inbound”. “There is a huge pent-up demand for travel that has come up over the last month or so, starting on St. Patrick’s Day.

“Easter was very busy, 60,000 passengers passed through Cork Airport. »

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