Most Covid Restrictions to End
The National Public Health Emergency Team has given the green light to ending most Covid-19 public h...

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Ryanair Ramps Up Summer Schedule
Ryanair is ramping up its operations ahead of the summer, announcing its largest ever flight schedul...

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Extra Holiday Will Help Hospitality
Hotels will benefit from the decision to designate March 18 of this year as a Bank Holiday under a n...

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NI Visitors Flock South
More than twice as many cross-Border tourists go from Northern Ireland to the Republic compared to t...

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Most Covid Restrictions to End
Ryanair Ramps Up Summer Schedule
Extra Holiday Will Help Hospitality
NI Visitors Flock South


Pubs Score in Christmas Spend

graftonstSpending in bars rose 8% in December, despite the curbs on socialising. The pandemic related restrictions hit travel with spend on airlines, travel agents and cruises down by between a quarter and a third compared to November. Fast food outlets saw a modest uptick in business, up 3% on November, but instead of enjoying their traditional pre-Christmas boom, spending in restaurants remained flat.
The Revolut data, based on the spending habits of its 1.5m Irish users, shows that other retail outlets did well from the festive splurge. Overall, Revolut estimates that spending in December was up 5% on the previous month.

Revised Plan for Cobblestone Pub

Scaled back plans for a hotel over the Cobblestone pub in Dublin will ensure that the pub's important cultural offering will be maintained, according to architects for Marron Estates Ltd, C+W O'Brien.Cobblestone
The architects have told  An Bord Pleanála that instead of the original 114 bedroom nine-storey scheme put forward by Marron Estates to Dublin City Council, the company is now proposing a seven-storey scheme over the protected structure of the Cobblestone pub on Dublin’s King Street at Smithfield.
As part of the appeal to An Bord Pleanála against the comprehensive refusal by Dublin City Council, C+W O’Brien Architects is proposing ‘the retention of the entire Cobblestone pub over all floors at basement, ground and first and second floors".
The removal of the backroom of the Cobblestone pub was a controversial component of the original scheme and was also a specific ground of refusal by the council.
The council stated that the loss of the existing backroom area to the rear of the Cobblestone pub, which has developed as a space for teaching, rehearsal and performance for traditional music, would be contrary to development plan provisions in respect of culture in the city.
Now, Marron Estates is proposing to relocate the backroom "to a purpose built performing space contained within the retained historic yard to the rear of the site".
A decision on the appeal is due in April. Parties can make submissions to the appeals board on the appeal lodged.

'Skills to Advance' helps Hospitality meet Challenges

Pictured at the launch of the'Skills to Advance' programme are (from left) Andrew Brownlee (ceo, Solas), Simon Harris, Minister for Higher and Further Education, Elaina Fitzgerald, president, IHF, Niall Collins (Minister of State for Further Education) and Tim Fenn, ceo, IHF). 

Click here for more details

Skills to Advance is a policy initiative aimed at enhancing the skills of people in employment. Developed in 2018 by SOLAS (The Further Education and Training Authority) and the Department of Education and Skills, it has since been rolled out with the Education and Training Boards (ETBs) around the country. 
Skill to Advance provides upskilling and reskilling opportunities, anticipating and responding to skill needs. It particularly targets those facing changes in their work due to technology advances, changing work practices and market diversification. 
A key feature of Skills to Advance is its focus on sectors experiencing disruption or those with emerging opportunities. A current example of this is Developing Leaders for Hospitality and Tourism. Driven by the critical challenges now facing the industry, and in order to boost the retention and career progression of key talent, two new training programmes have been developed by SOLAS and the ETBs in collaboration with the Irish Hotels Federation, Failte Ireland, and Regional Skills Fora. 


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IFSA/Chef Network Operating Guidelines

Representing over 200 member companies, IFSA (the Irish Foodservice Suppliers Alliance) and Chef Network, with its 3,500 strong membership, have combined their efforts to IFSA Chef Network image 002launch the IFSA and Chef Network Catering Business Covid-19 Operating Guidelines and Procedures document. 

 Drafted by an IFSA/Chef Network working group, with the assistance of The Food Safety Company, the comprehensive document has been created based on the best available national and international guidance. Its purpose is to deliver information on industry guidelines and protocols which may allow and help foodservice outlets to resume business.
   “Shutting down our economy came as a huge shock to all businesses, but it’s become apparent that restarting our economy and preparing businesses for the ‘living with Covid’ phase is an even greater task that will take much consideration and planning,” adds Patrick Clement, IFSA Chair.
 The aim of the document is to help, support and advise foodservice business operators on how best to plan for the re-opening of their business.  Patrick Clement continues: 
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Brand Building with Video

Video is a powerful communications tool, but hotels need to have a clear reason for posting videos on social media, a hospitality industry marketing and communications specialist has said.
Film-maker, producer and videographer Greg Manahan told Micheline Corr of The Firm, that some videos featuring animals in hotel lobbies and employees cycling indoors, did not convey a positive brand image for the hotels that posted them.
He was this week’s guest on The Firm Optimist discussion series.
‘Before a hotel posts a video, management need to have a mission objective for doing so. It must reinforce the core brand message of how the customer views the hotel’, he said.
Hotels, he said, are complex products from a brand perspective and hoteliers need to be careful about the messages they convey’.
Covid 19, he said, will change how consumers see hotels, with brand perceptions in the future likely to put more emphasis on safety and hygiene’.
‘But guests will also want a great hotel experience and the challenge for hoteliers is to balance these attributes in their offering’.
The local environment is also a key to the brand proposition of many hotels’, he said. ‘Hotels need to work with their local community, their town, village or high street to offer a complete experience- just as Killarney and Westport have done so successfully’.
He urged participants in Zoom meetings to learn the basics of good presentation, including camera position, (focus on the eyes’),  lighting (‘in front of the participant and behind the camera’) and sound (‘buy a microphone’)
His three pieces of advice to hospitality businesses are to offer reassurance to customers and staff that they will be safe and comfortable, offer high speed broadband and commission high quality video which uses a story to convey the new brand proposition.
Watch the full interview on:

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