Two Donegal hotels have been included as being among the latest establishments to be given the Guaranteed Irish logo.
Ireland’s widely recognised symbol for locally manufactured goods and services has been granted to Arnold’s Hotel in Dunfanaghy, and the Mill Park Hotel in Donegal Town.
The announcement comes in a week when figures from the Irish Country Hotels reveal a 21% increase in bookings for January and February compared to the same period in 2011.
Irish Country Hotels, a collection of 26 family-run hotels across the country, revealed a 5% increase in bookings from the U.K.
The overall 21% increase indicates, they say, a trend towards “real Irish holidays” for the 2012 season. There has been a particular interest from France and the United States, according to the latest figures unveiled by Taoiseach, Enda Kenny at a function in Dublin.
“These figures are great news and will have a good impact on employment in the small communities where these traditional Irish properties are located.” Mary Fitzgerald, Group Chairperson of Irish Country Hotels, maintained.
“Our main focus has been overseas, and we believe the new lower VAT for hotels is having an impact. If these figures continue we will be able to employ more part time workers this season. A 20% growth means 20% more beds to be made, breakfasts to be served, more tourists spending in shops etc. so it is good for all the community. “
A quarter of a century in existence this year, Irish Country Hotels is run as a co-operative. While it has been marketed overseas and is now an internationally recognised brand, it is also embarking on a campaign to increase business from the domestic market.