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VIP visits boost Irish hotels

They didn't sleep in any Irish hotels so none can name a suite after President Obama or Queen Elizabeth but the recent visit to Ireland of both are giving the Irish hotel industry reasons to be cheerful.

Irish hoteliers are cautiously optimistic about the future, according to the latest quarterly barometer of the Irish Hotels Federation. More than half of those surveyed reported an increase in overall business levels compared with the same period last year, the Irish Independent reported this week.

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The survey revealed that 64 percent of respondents were hopeful about the viability of their businesses over the next 12 months. The results also indicate that business levels are up in the domestic market, with 46 percent of respondents seeing an increase in business from the island of Ireland.

"When asked about the two visits, 94 percent of hoteliers felt the visit by Queen Elizabeth had had a positive impact for Irish tourism with 83 percent saying they expected to see an increase in visitor numbers.A similar sentiment was expressed for Mr. Obama's visit with 92 percent saying it had a positive impact and 77 percent saying they expected an increase in visitor numbers.

"The IHF said it expected to see the full benefits of the high-profile visits feed through to increased visitor numbers in the medium to long term," the Independent report added.