Irish hotels are prepared for British withdrawal from Europe, Adare Manor CEO Colm Hannon tells students

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Aspiring hoteliers have been told that the industry will weather any Brexit fallout better than most as they graduated from Shannon College of Hotel Management. Head of College Phillip Smyth and Colm Hannon, ‘2017 Class Patron’ and CEO of Adare Manor Resort, Co Limerick and Luttrellstown Castle, Dublin, that they have selected a career that will survive the British decision.

Carol O’Connell, Killarney Co Kerry, Trisha Bahri, India, and Edel McCarthy, Ballylanders, Co Limerick, after their graduation ceremony

Carol O’Connell, Killarney Co Kerry, Trisha Bahri, India, and Edel McCarthy, Ballylanders, Co Limerick, after their graduation ceremony. Photo: Arthur Ellis

This year 87 Level 8 Degree students from 12 nations graduated, with some workingin marquee hotels like the Waldorf Astoria, New York; Jumeriah Group in Dubai; and Savoy Hotel and Ritz Hotel in London.

Thestudent body at Shannon includes 21 different nationalities, with one-quarter of the students coming from overseas, including China, India, US, England,  Germany, Canada, UAE, France, Italy and Seychelles.

There is undoubtedly going to be an impact from Brexit for the industry and it’s already being felt but overall tourism is going to weather this storm a lot better than other sectors,” Dr Smyth told students. “Exchange rates are already a challenge but this is a flexible industry and the major plus for tourism is the growth of travel.  There’s very significant growth in inbound tourism, particularly from the likes of the US and Europe so we are confident that will offset any effect that Brexit is having. But it is also very important that state agencies tasked with promoting Ireland as a destination overseas receive sufficient funding to compete.”

Colm Hannon, who is overseeing the redevelopment of Adare Manor Resort, said that the five star hotel sector, in particular, is very much insulated against Brexit impact. “We are a little different in that the UK market made up a lower percentage of our business in the past, somewhere in the region of 10pc.  Approximately 65pc of our business has been from the US and that will continue to be the lion’s share of the Adare Manor market.  By and large, our end of the market will overcome any Brexit impact through growth in other areas.”

The Adare Manor CEO graduated from the Shannon course 30 years ago.  His wife Sue is also a graduate and their two children, Shane and Ciara, are currently studying there.  “This is a special place.  While it is largely up to the individual after they leave here, every graduate goes with a Shannon College badge that has very strong international currency,” he added.

NUI Galway President James Browne announced at the event that the college has launched Ireland’s first university-awarded post-experience certificate course in Hotel Leadership.  It is the only University-awarded Certificate programme, exclusively for hoteliers, developed and delivered in Ireland.

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