The Irish Self Catering Federation (ISCF) Annual conference in Dublin in November brought together stakeholders from across the holiday rental accommodation and short-term lets tourism sector, including tourism partners, owners, managers, agents and suppliers. There was a record attendance, a sure indication that this accommodation supplier to the tourism sector is growing and intends to strengthen its voice through increased member activity.
The Conference theme was ‘Stronger Together’. In his Chairman’s address Peter Downey asked all in attendance to be ambassadors promoting the sector under the umbrella of the ISCF, membership of which is now recognised as a symbol of distinction which demonstrates commitment to professionalism. He continued “there has been a growing concern within the sector about the possible introduction of increased legislation without consultation with us as the representative body for owners in this sector. The ISCF sees the importance of being involved at policy decision making level which is directly affecting us. The sector has been a steady contribution to the Tourism sector for decades, but with the advent of the global operators and part time hosts, the sector has come under criticism from some politicians and media, much of which is based on unsubstantiated claims. The least we can expect is to be consulted about issues that affect us and we will work tirelessly to ensure this happens”.
Carlos Villaro Lassen, Secretary General of European Holiday Home Association (EHHA) also spoke at the conference about his lobbying role at EU level. He reported that there are in excess of 4 million short term holiday let units in the EU, and that each three houses on the short-term market creates one job. This is of even more importance in rural areas, which is why this accommodation is vital in the sustainability of rural tourism which touches every industry and community, creating employment and economic growth.
Paul Keeley, Director of Fáilte Ireland used an opening slide with the word ‘BREXIT’ emblazoned in a foggy background. He said that right now, it was nearly impossible to prepare for what lay ahead for Tourism in the wake of Brexit. But he assured members that everything is being done by both Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland to ensure we would in a position to face any challenges or opportunities Brexit brought our way.
Chairperson Peter Downey said “We were delighted to welcome so many delegates to our conference this year and new opportunities for action on the back of the Conference to put ISCF in a strong position to support the sector”
Newly appointed Dorren Quinn “I am delighted with the delegate feedback. I am confident that we can build on this and even surpass this success in the future.”
The ISCF Conference 2017 took place at the Clayton Hotel Liffey Valley, Dublin on Tuesday 14th November 2017. Additional information about the conference is available at https://www.iscf.ie/conferences/