Profits nearly halve at Belfast hotels

Hotel News - 09/08/2010

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Recent figures on the hospitality industry show new, regional variations in the economic well-being of Northern Island’s hospitality industry. In Belfast, profits are down by 45 per cent. Meanwhile, other parts of Northern Ireland have shown healthy increases in profits.

Michael Williamson of chartered accountants and management consultants ASM Horwarth says Belfast has suffered a collapse in the number of business tourists because of the economic downturn and because the region had lost its grip on the conference market.

However, other parts of Northern Ireland have weathered the recession well. Many of those areas depend less on business tourists and their main tourism market, leisure travellers, enjoyed a strong 2009.

However, worries remain for the future of tourism in Northern Ireland. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) released its latest quarterly economic review showing that the pace of economic recovery in Northern Ireland is lagging behind that of the rest of the UK and the gap is accelerating.

PWC says business activity in the private sector in Northern Ireland has contracted for 31 months in a row. Business confidence in Northern Ireland is now lower than in any other region of the UK.

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