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Tag Archives: Michael Vaughan

More measures needed to boost tourism – Michael Vaughan

HOTEL closures imposed by Covid-19 restrictions has cost a Lahinch hotelier a drop of €425,000 in turnover at the end of July compared with the corresponding period last year. Michael Vaughan who runs Vaughan Lodge predicts that regardless what happens for the remainder of the tourism season 2020 will be a loss-making year. Commenting on the publication of the new coalition’s much anticipated July Stimulus, the former Irish Hotels’ Federation (IHF) president also estimates he is unlikely to do one tenth of the turnover he generated last year. Mr Vaughan expressed disappointment over the government’s decision to leave the tourism 13.5% VAT rate for accommodation and food unchanged in line with their counterparts in Northern Ireland who are now benefiting from a 5% rate. He claimed the new Staycation tax rebate involved a very complicated system, which has excluded a large amount of people who may not have the income to benefit from this initiative. In view of the fact …

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New figures reveal threat to Clare tourism jobs

ALMOST 9,000 jobs in hospitality and tourism in Clare are at immediate risk, with the sector braced for what industry leaders are calling “an impending disaster”. While hotels and pubs serving food are set to re-open from next Monday, representative groups are concerned about the chances of salvaging the 2020 season. An industry briefing for Clare, prepared for the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF), reveals that 8,800 jobs are at risk in 2020. The figure represents close to 75% of all jobs in the industry in Clare, and the same percentage of the total revenue the sector generates for the county. “Up until recently, tourism and hospitality across Clare supported 12,000 jobs and generated €266 in revenues annual for the local economy,” the IHF briefing stated. “We are now facing a deepening crisis with 8,800 tourism jobs at risk across Clare and local tourism revenues estimated to drop by €200 million as businesses fight for survival,” Responding to the figures, North …

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No mad dash to Lahinch on Monday

THERE was no mad dash into the water at Lahinch on Monday, when a further easing on the Covid-19 restrictions allowed people to travel within their own county. Local hotelier Michael Vaughan said there was increased activity at the resort, but not too much. From his perch at Vaughan Lodge Hotel he could observe a quiet golf course, in stark contrast to last year when numbers were good, and the Irish Open in July was the highlight. Michael said on Monday people were essentially coming to Lahinch “to watch”. He described as “eerie” the atmosphere around Lahinch, with people there but no restaurants, pubs or hotels open to cater for them. He said some people might even be “spooked” at the idea of travelling too far from home, having been confined to 5k. Michael intends to reopen on July but doesn’t expect this 22-bed hotel to be sold out. “I should have one-third occupancy and my target for the season …

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Timmy Dooley Misses Out in Seanad Bid

TWO Clare candidates have lost out in their bid to secure a place on the Industrial and Commercial Panel of Seanad Éireann. The development means that former Fianna Fáil TD, Timmy Dooley, has failed in his bid to return to the Oireachtas. The Mountshannon native was one of the surprise casualties of February’s General Election, and having formerly been a member of the Upper House, was thought to have been in with a strong chance of taking a Seanad seat. While he secured 35 first preference votes from the Industrial and Commercial Panel electorate which is comprised of local authority members, he was eliminated on the twenty-first count on a total of 52 votes. Also seeking election to that panel was prominent Clare hotelier and former President of the Irish Hotels Federation, Michael Vaughan. The Lahinch man, a first-time candidate, was eliminated on the fifth count. Counting for the Administrative Panel continues today with two Clare candidates in contention, for …

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Huge prices sought for Irish Open houses

NORTH Clare homeowners are looking for more than €8,000 to rent out their properties for the Irish Open and this week has seen calls for more moderate pricing. On Monday, on airbnb.ie, a house described in its blurb as a “Lahinch Irish Open house in Miltown Malbay”, could be booked for €8,169. On the same site, €7,879 could secure a golf fan a three-bedroom house, which was described as being an eight minute walk from Lahinch’s main street. Another property in the village was available for the princely sum of €7,022 for the week. Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship winner, Offaly’s Shane Lowry and world number 13, Tommy Fleetwood, were confirmed this week for the tournament, which is taking place from July 4 to 7. Local hotelier Michael Vaughan is a past president of the Irish Hotels Federation and he said some of the prices being sought are very high. “As far as we’re concerned in Lahinch and North Clare, the …

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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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