FEARS over rising Covid cases have led to the cancellation of Christmas parties and room reservations in hotels across West Cork.
Elaine Dempsey, general manager of The Maritime Hotel in Bantry said they had a number of large companies booked in for festive party nights, while smaller companies had planned dinner events in the restaurant, but a lot have been cancelled in the past fortnight.
‘We are feeling the pinch of the cancellations of both company parties and individuals who may not feel comfortable going away for a night.
‘But you can understand this too, many companies just don’t feel it’s the right decision at this time.’
Neil Grant of The Celtic Ross Hotel in Rosscarbery said that with consumer confidence so low at the moment, they have taken a hit with room bookings.
‘We were sold out for last weekend for example five or six weeks ago, but then we found ourselves with 10 to 15 rooms to sell each night. The lack of certainty means we’re back in limbo land and consumers stop spending as a result. It’s like a tap has been turned off,’ said Neil.
‘Our overall revenue for November will prove to be down 30% to 35% compared to what we had forecast with the relative knowledge we had. We made the call early not to host Christmas parties so we’re not enduring those cancellations.’
Irene O’Callaghan, sales and
marketing manager of the Clonakilty Park Hotel has described 2021 as a year of ‘peaks and troughs’ and said they too had been experiencing last minute room cancellations due to the rising Covid case numbers.
‘This of course is a huge concern for us, but people want to do the right thing, so flexibility has been key to protecting both our local and family market,’ said Irene.
‘We are lucky to have built up a very loyal customer base and there is great appetite for our location, so the majority have rebooked or have accepted vouchers towards future stays.’
Aidan Derwin of The West Cork Hotel in Skibbereen said that they were very cautious from the outset and didn’t plan on hosting any Christmas parties so weren’t hit in that regard.
‘We are expecting a very quiet December but we haven’t noticed any general room cancellations as such yet. It’s not too overwhelming at the moment,’ said Aidan.
Sarah Wallace of the Kinsale Hotel & Spa said they had decided not to organise Christmas parties this year and instead they have concentrated on the backlog of weddings that were cancelled last year due to Covid-19.