77% of B&B owners confident of recovery this year
Over three-quarters of Irish B&B owners have expressed their confidence in how the industry will perform during 2022 as Covid travel restrictions are dropped.
But while the majority are optimistic about the year ahead, some remain concerned that international visitor numbers will not return to normal levels until at least 2023.
B&B Ireland, the national organisation for Bed and Breakfast operators on the island of Ireland, is marking its 50th anniversary.
The organisation is responsible for bringing half a million tourists a year into the B&B sector.
Its latest survey found that 77% of hosts are feeling either confident or very confident about business for the year ahead.
While most believe it will be 2023 or 2024 before we see the full return of international visitors, but 74% of B&Bs expect to be busier this year than last year.
One-third of B&B owners also said they are opting to extend their season and open for longer as a result.
Helena Healy, CEO of B&B Ireland, said the future of the organisation is bright as she encouraged more hosts to become members.
Ms Healy said she believes the Irish B&B experience is so unique that it is not going anywhere.
“There will always be people who want to welcome guests into their homes because it is part of the Irish charm,” she stated.
She said that while it has been a challenging two years for all B&B operators, the organsation believes that there will be a significant recovery in 2022 and that sentiment is shared by the majority of its members who are feeling confident about the year ahead.
“Thankfully there is still huge demand for the authentic Irish B&B experience from the international market and at home,” she added.
Fáilte Ireland CEO Paul Kelly said that staying in a B&B is a special experience that allows visitors to immerse themselves in Irish life and culture.
“B&B Ireland and its members across the country are renowned for their hospitality and quality-assured high standards and are an integral part of the Irish tourism industry,” he added.