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05 Jul 2022

Major hoteliers conference underway in Portlaoise

midlands park hotel portlaoise

Midlands Park Hotel Portlaoise

A major conference got underway in Laois today as hoteliers from across Ireland gathered in Portlaoise. 

The Irish Hotels Federation(IHF) event saw hoteliers from the four corners of Ireland attend the Midlands Park Hotel in Portlaoise where a conference on ‘Shaping Brighter Futures’ for people in the hotel sector is taking place.   

Focusing on leadership, wellness, emotional fitness, employee development and diversity, the event will hear from a range of expert speakers, including a keynote address from Lord Mark Price who has over 40 years’ experience unlocking the power of people in organisations. 

IHF President, Denyse Campbell explained that the heart of every successful hotel and guesthouse is its people, and supporting and developing them is key to long term success.

“As our sector continues to recover from two incredibly challenging years, one of the top priorities for hotels and guesthouses is developing and retaining our people as well as attracting the next generation of talent into our sector - whether they are joining after formal education, returning to work or seeking a career change.”

She said: “Right across the country hoteliers are investing in their teams, whether through bespoke education and training initiatives such as the IHF Skillnet programme, or through an increased focus on wellbeing, diversity and inclusion at work.”

Ms Campbell said that with great opportunities available in hotels and guesthouses across Ireland, the IHF is encouraging people of all ages to consider a career in the hotel sector.

“There are an enormous variety of career paths and training opportunities that are constantly evolving in our sector. This is something I have experienced first-hand since I began my career in hospitality with a summer job working in a hotel, through to today as a General Manager,” she recalled. 

“Now is an ideal time to consider a career in tourism given the wide range of exciting options available for people at every stage of their working lives. We know there is an increasing number of people who are seeking greater flexibility in the number of hours they work, particularly those who may be returning to the workforce – and this is something hotels and guesthouses are ideally placed to accommodate,” Ms Campbell continued. 

She said: “We are encouraging those with an interest in working in a vibrant team environment to find out more about the many opportunities and positions available. Few sectors provide such a wide range of options across a variety of skills levels, backgrounds and interests – offering plenty of opportunities to support professional growth while meeting and working with great people and developing skills.”

A national database of live opportunities in the tourism industry is available at tourismcareers.ie.

Tourism is Ireland’s largest indigenous industry, providing employment in every town and country in Ireland. Before the pandemic, over 270,000 livelihoods were supported by the tourism and hospitality sector, equating to 1 in 10 of all Irish jobs, with 70% of these jobs located outside Dublin. These jobs are crucial to communities, especially in many parts of regional Ireland where tourism is the only show in town.

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