• The Government needs to think carefully before returning the VAT rate for hotels back up to 13.5 percent. That’s the view of Roscommon Fianna Fail deputy Eugene Murphy.

    Deputy Murphy says while hotels in Dublin and the other cities across the country may well be experiencing a boom, that is not the case for many rural establishments.

     He argues that a 9 percent vat rate is adequate, if the Government is serious about recognizing tourism as a major employer in the economy.

  • New recommendations this week from the National Public Health Emergency Team proposed that health staff should be advised to stop sharing accommodation, in order to limit the spread of coronavirus.

    The State is to look at providing alternative accommodation for nurses and other staff in such circumstances.

    There were concerns for example that a number of healthcare workers, working in different facilities, may be sharing a house or flat, and this is to be discouraged in the current emergency.

    A number of hotel owners across the West, particularly in Mayo, have offered their premises for such use, according to Tony Canavan, CEO of the Saolta Hospital Group.

    He told Midwest News that the health authorities are now actively looking at such back-up plans....

  • Fears over the spread of coronavirus have already hit some major sporting fixtures, and St Patrick's Day parades across the country are also being cancelled.

    Businesses in towns and villages across the region will be hit as a result of the cancellations, while the hotel industry is beginning to feel the pinch.

    Darren Madden of the Clew Bay Hotel in Westport is chairman of the Mayo branch of the Irish Hotels Federation.

    He says the number of international tourists will be down this year, due to Covid 19.

    However, he says hotels can offer good value to Irish customers to enjoy "staycations".

    Mr Madden says hotels have introduced the necessary practices during the current crisis, and says it's important that hotels can keep their staff employed during this uncertain time, so they can continue to deliver a quality service once this coronavirus crisis is over.