Tourism Ireland welcomes Tourism Recovery Plan

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Tourism Ireland has welcomed the publication of the Tourism Recovery Plan from the Tourism Recovery Taskforce today, reports Clodagh Dooley

Niall Gibbons, CEO Tourism Ireland

As Covid-19 cases continue to increase and the latest Covid-19 restrictions are announced, there is no doubt a sense of dejection across Ireland, particularly within the tourism and hospitality sector. 

So, it’s great to see the publication of the Tourism Recovery Plan 2020-2023 from the Tourism Recovery Taskforce. The Taskforce makes a number of recommendations, both to help ensure the survival of tourism businesses and jobs and also to help the sector to stabilise and recover in the years to come.

Speaking about the plan, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, says, “Covid-19 delivered an immediate and devastating impact on tourism and hospitality this year. Since the middle of March, we have had virtually no international visitors. 

“I was therefore very pleased to be part of the Tourism Recovery Taskforce and to contribute to this extremely important plan, to help our sector survive this crisis and recover. I would like to thank Chairperson Ruth Andrews and all my colleagues on the Taskforce for their hard work and contribution. This report sets out vital supports for our industry, in order to retain skills, capacity and assets to strengthen recovery.”

In a normal year, around 75% of the total tourism spend comes from international visitors. While ‘staycation’ business has helped alleviate the complete collapse of the tourism sector in 2020, Niall says it will be important to welcome back international visitors at the earliest opportunity and when the time is right.

“I, therefore, welcome the call to double the overseas tourism marketing fund, to €94 million, to help protect Ireland’s strong brand position in the international marketplace and to kickstart the recovery in overseas tourism. I also welcome the recommendation of a €92 million Industry Activation Fund, over three years, to enable our industry partners to undertake extensive sales and marketing activities. 

“Other key overseas recommendations include supporting our air and sea access sector, which is vital for connectivity. The recommendation to strengthen our international competitiveness in emerging tourism markets, by offering a free 90-day visa waiver programme for short-term holiday visits, is also very welcome.”

Niall says that while this is a truly terrible time for tourism, he believes Irish tourism can, and will, recover from this devastating pandemic. 

There are undoubtedly significant challenges for our industry. Once this crisis is past and Ireland is open again to international visitors, we in Tourism Ireland will be ready to play our part in delivering a sustainable recovery for the long-term future of our industry. 

“We will be ready on the ground to roll out an extensive recovery kickstart programme, when the time is right. Our focus is on having promotional campaigns which will be ready to go, once there are signs that consumers overseas are getting back on the move and that Ireland is open for business.”

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Clodagh Dooley

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