NEWS

Donegal's hospitality sector enjoys Christmas and new year boom

Many hotels and restaurants enjoyed full capacity

Matt Britton

Reporter:

Matt Britton

Donegal's  hospitality sector enjoys Christmas and new year boom

Noel Cunningham of Harvey's Point.

Reports from the hospitality sector in Donegal have indicated great satisfaction with business during the festive season with many commenting that it is still continuing into the new year.
Many hotels and restaurants remained open in what once was a time when families dined at home and many venues enjoyed full capacity.
Noel Cunningham of Harvey's Point told the Democrat: “There is no point in my underplaying it, we had one of the best Christmases ever with people dining out much more frequently and remarkably, taking their winter breaks with us. There is no doubt that the Wild Atlantic Way, the National Geographic article and the Star Wars phenomenon have all put Donegal very much on the map.
“It has also succeeded in instilling a great self-belief among hoteliers who have finally realised that we do indeed have a great product in Donegal.”
Mr. Cunningham also highlighted an emerging trade in the wedding sector. “Back in the middle of the recession we experienced a lot of sadness with the growth of emigration,” he said.
“However, every cloud has a silver lining and we are now seeing many of these successful young couples returning on holidays from all corners of the globe and getting married at home. It all augurs well for the future and Imm delighted that we are still enjoying great business in this, the first week in January.”
Annette O'Donnell of the Clanree Hotel in Letterkenny, which is hosting a large wedding fair on Sunday said: “It has been an exceptionally good Christmas and New Year in all areas of the hotel - accommodation, restaurant/bar and in the banqueting departments.
“It is not a return to the excesses of the Celtic Tiger era. People are more prudent and looking for value. In spite of the exchange rates we still are enjoying a very buoyant market from the north of Ireland.”
Terry McEniff of the Mount Errigal Hotel in Letterkenny was in total agreement. “All aspects of the hotel have shown growth and I am confident of a good 2018," he said. "Brexit or the exchange rates have not had any negative impact. I believe that once the product is right people will come.
“All the signs are very positive.”