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Old Ground Hotel proprietor Allen Flynn.

“It’ll make a massive difference”-Ennis hotelier optimistic with restrictions going

ENNIS hotelier Allen Flynn is delighted with the relaxing of Covid-19 restrictions.

The virus has plunged the hospitality and tourism industries into chaos over the last two years, but yesterday’s announcement of a major easing of restrictions has sparked much optimism that 2022 will be different.

Speaking to the Clare Champion on Friday, Mr Flynn said it was great to see things going in the right direction. “It’ll make a massive difference. We’ve had a very tough period since Christmas as a result of Covid, everyone wants to do their bit, ensuring the health and safety of customers and staff was paramount, everyone wanted to buy into that, and we’d like to think we’re coming out at the other end much stronger.”

Given the nature of his business, he expected it would take a few days to get ready. “In our industry you can’t just flick a switch, there are staff who may be on vacation, there are temporary lay offs, you have to order in food and get ready. We could be looking at a three to five day period to get ready.”

Covid-19 shut down international tourism in 2020 and 2021, but he is confident it will bounce back quickly. “The enquiries for the summer months from our American partners are very strong, so there’s obviously a pent up demand for Ireland from the American market. Hopefully that’ll continue and come to fruition.”

He also expects the staycation market to stay strong. “The extra bank holiday will give a big boost in March for the staycation market. That’ll give us a good period in March, we’ll have Easter in April and then we have the May Bank Holiday. We have nice little spurts there for the Irish domestic market, which is still very strong. Even in the last few days we’ve been delighted with the number of requests coming in from the staycation market.”

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.