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Hospitality sector in Kilkenny and Carlow facing huge challeges post-Covid

DIGI is warning the numbers employed in the sector are being impacted by a drop in tourism

Hospitality is facing major post-Covid challenges with a drop of more than 3,500 hospitality jobs in the South East alone next year.

In its pre-Budget plea for a 7.5% reduction in excise tax, the new Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI) is warning of a two-tier recovery in 2022.

It’s suggesting weakened tourism demand will impact employment.

DIGI says there’ll be 140 thousand people employed by drinks and hospitality businesses next year, down from almost 180 thousand at the end of 2019.

There’s a predicted drop of 3 thousand 690 in this region where there are 16 and a half thousand currently working in the sector in Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford and Waterford.

Colin Ahern, President of Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce is General Manager of the Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel -he says people’s habits have changed because of the pandemic:

“From a customers point of view, people are a lot more happy and organised to socialise in their own homes than they possibly were before, because they got used to it for a year and a half”

And he says while some in the sector have started to recover, it’s not happening for others:

“The hospitality businesses in some cases have gotten back to somewhere in the region of 75 or 80% of the business they had in 2019. But there are other businesses that haven’t got back anywhere near that. So I do think it’s going to be a while”

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