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Tag Archives: Michael Vaughan

Shannon airport

‘Body blow’ as Shannon to Chicago route axed

ON Wednesday United Airlines announced it was axing its seasonal Shannon-Chicago service, citing “poor financial performance”. Describing it as a “body blow” to tourism in Clare, hotelier Michael Vaughan said it poses “fundamental questions” about the viability of transatlantic services from Shannon. In a statement to The Clare Champion, the airline said; “United will discontinue its seasonal service between Shannon and Chicago/O’Hare.  The last service operated on September 6, 2017 (westbound). We have regretfully taken this decision because of the route’s poor financial performance.” In July United announced it was suspending its Shannon-New York service for the winter. It will re-commence flights on that route next March. Speaking to The Clare Champion, Mr Vaughan, who is based in Lahinch and is a former president of the Irish Hotels’ Federation, said the loss of the link to Chicago is very negative for tourism in Clare and surrounding counties. “It’s most disappointing news. Chicago is a key gateway from the west coast of America …

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Clare hotels enjoying good business

Clare hotels have seen business return to 2007 levels, according to a former president of the Irish Hotels’ Federation and Lahinch hotelier Michael Vaughan. Figures from the Central Statistics Office, released this week, showed that overseas trips to Ireland increased by 13.5% for the period July to September 2015. According to Mr Vaughan, while this year has been good, 2016 is likely to be even better. “In overall terms, I think in the hotel business, 2015 will go down as the year that tourism returned to normality and that was the picture throughout County Clare. Everyone is satisfied with the year that they had. We have now reached the level of business we did in 2007, which is a clear return to the normal tourism cycle. The main reasons for that is the North American market, which was the stellar performer of 2015. I’m predicting an equally good year for 2016. My bookings are ahead of where they would have …

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Heathrow slots absolutely critical for region

Transport Minister, Paschal Donohoe declined to give assurances about the future of Shannon’s Heathrow slots, but he did say in the Dáil this week that maintaining Ireland’s connectivity is a priority. Asked about the prospects of an IAG takeover of Aer Lingus by Clare and Limerick TDs, the minister said, “Currently, no formal offer has been made to Aer Lingus shareholders. That said, I wish to make clear that should such an offer be made, we will take great care and exercise great caution in examining the pros and cons to Ireland of such an offer. “We will bear in mind the same issues we considered when faced with previous takeover bids. We will consider the impact any change in ownership of Aer Lingus would have on the connectivity of Ireland, which connectivity is vital to our economy and our society. We will consider the impact it would have on competition for passengers to and from Irish airports and we …

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Local tourism enjoys summer boost

THE tourism industry is up 20% on last year in some parts of the county. As the summer draws to a close, former chairman of the Irish Hotels Federation and Lahinch hotelier, Michael Vaughan, has said that, on average across the county, it is up by 5% or 6% and that the hotel sector could be back to 2007 peak levels within the next two years. “It was slow enough at the early part of the year but it improved as we got towards the main months and certainly the Wild Atlantic Way has brought tourists out along the coast, there is no doubt about that. Certainly there has been an improvement of at least 5% and 6% on last year and last year was up too, so we are getting closer to where we were before the bust came about. I think the figure we would love to reach is back to 2007 figures, which was the height of …

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Sun shining on Clare business and tourism

As the State exams drew to a close this week, Met Éireann issued a status yellow ‘high temperature warning’ for County Clare, with temperatures on Wednesday reaching between 26 and 28 degrees Celsius. According to Met Éireann, the maximum temperature recorded at the Shannon Airport weather station on Tuesday was 25.8 degrees Celsius. By midday on Wednesday, temperatures had already reached 24 degrees and the warm weather is forecast to remain into the weekend, with Thursday, Friday and Saturday to each hit 20 degrees, though there will be some cloud cover. This is not just good news for those out enjoying the fine weather but also for businesses here. “In Lahinch, every car parking space was filled,” Michael Vaughan, owner of Vaughan Lodge and former president of the Irish Hotels Federation, said on Wednesday afternoon. “I see people parked on verges and the beach is thronged, so there are plenty of visitors to the area but I am not certain …

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Live Register showing signs of improvement

By Owen Ryan THERE were fewer people on the live register in Clare last month than was the case in any month of March since 2008. Figures from the Central Statistics Office showed that last month there were 9,023 people signing on in the Banner county, down from 9,242 in February. That drop of 239 equates to a drop of 2.5% in a single month, and, when compared to the figure of 9,869 in March of last year, the decline in the number signing on is slightly over 8.5% in one year. Comparing the figures for the month of March over the last number of years is quite telling. In March 2007, with the country still in rude economic health, there were just 4,102 people on the live register. Twelve months later, the number was almost 25% higher at 5,126. Over the next year, the economy would decline dramatically and, in March of 2009, the number on the live register …

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Hotels president wants costs lowered

THE high cost of doing business in Ireland is the single most pressing issue for Irish hotels and guesthouses according to an industry survey carried out by the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF). Federation president, Michael Vaughan has called for immediate and radical Government action to tackle public sector costs, including local authority rates, water charges and energy-related levies. He called for a clearly defined national competitiveness strategy for all business costs under the control of the Government. Speaking on the eve of the IHF’s 76th annual conference, he pointed out that the survey, which was carried out earlier this month, cites excessive local authority rates as the most critical issue facing hoteliers in terms cost competitiveness. The IHF stresses that this is stifling Irish tourism’s ability to compete more effectively for domestic and overseas tourists. “The hotels sector stabilised in 2013 largely as a result of the relentless work of hotels and guesthouses to slash costs where there was any level of …

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Job opportunities in tourism

THE Irish Hotels Federation is calling on Leaving Certificate students to consider a future in tourism. President of the IHF, Michael Vaughsan said that there are excellent career opportunities within the tourism and hospitality sector, particularly for skilled and qualified employees looking to progress rapidly to management roles. He noted that by now students throughout the country will have submitted their CAO applications. However, over the coming weeks, thousands will continue to examine their course options further and many will opt to avail of the change of Course facility, which is available up until March 1. Commenting on the career opportunities in the sector, the Lahinch hotelier said, “The outlook for Irish tourism is very positive and there are many exciting opportunities for anyone beginning a career in the sector. We’re experiencing strong growth with trips to Ireland up significantly over the last 12 months and this is having a direct impact on employment.” There are a large number of …

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