Elaina Fitzgerald Kane, Director of Fitzgeralds House Hotel and Spa and President of the Irish Hotels Federation has been appointed by Ministers Shane Ross and Minister Brendan Griffin TD to the Government’s Tourism Recovery Taskforce which has been charged with spearheading the economic recovery of Ireland’s tourism sector after the devastating effects of Covid-19.
Commenting on her appointment, Ms Fitzgerald Kane said “I am delighted to be appointed and look forward to contributing to the development of a comprehensive and speedy plan for the recovery of the tourism industry, which is so important nationally, including here in the Mid-West.”
“Prior to Covid-19, tourism was Ireland’s largest indigenous industry and employed 260,000 people, one in 10 of all Irish jobs, 70% of which were based outside of Dublin, so the impact nationally and especially for the regions could be devastating. Tourism contributed €9.4bn in annual tourism revenue nationally and €2bn in taxes for the exchequer in 2019. This does not include the indirect contribution of tourism - from supporting suppliers, capital projects to community sponsorships. In the aftermath of the last recession, tourism contributed 90,000 new jobs, so tourism has already demonstrated the vital role that it can play in economic recovery.”
From a background in market gardening, Elaina’s parents, Mary and the late Dick Fitzgerald started a bed and breakfast business, which has grown into the award-winning 4 star Fitzgeralds Woodlands House Hotel & Spa that exists today. Elaina works side by side with her mother Mary, her three brothers David, Conor and Richard, her niece Kerry and her sister in law Orla, as well as with an extended team of 200.
“I am keenly aware of the important role that tourism, including hotels, can play within local communities as well as to the national economy. This year my family celebrates 37 years in business. We are privileged to work with multi-generations of families, whole households, with team members from new entrants to the hospitality sector right up to more senior team members. Hotels like ours across the country also support local suppliers and their communities.”
“Tourism is part of my DNA and I absolutely believe it has a central part to play in Ireland’s economic recovery. I am very much looking forward to working as part of the team to ensure that it is placed on the best possible footing with the right supports,” she said.
A graduate of the Shannon School of Hotel Management, the National University of Ireland, Galway and The Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business, UCD, Elaina is the newly elected President of the Irish Hotels Federation, a role that her mother previously held 20 years ago. Over the last 30 years, Elaina has worked in hotels in Switzerland and the UK as well as in Ireland.
Tourism has a central part to play in Ireland’s recovery and Elaina will do everything that she can to make sure that tourism is placed on the best possible footing as we rebuild Ireland.