Irish tourism has been a crucial economic driver for our country particularly in recent years, but it has been badly affected by two separate challenges – exiting of the UK from EU (Brexit) and the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 pandemic. While COVID-19 has hit all Irish tourism businesses, many businesses had also been experiencing the impact of the UK’s Brexit referendum vote in 2016, particularly border counties and those counties dependent on the UK market.
Regardless of the outcome of ongoing UK negotiations regarding trade deals with Europe, the future for Irish tourism remains challenging. Recovery from COVID is based on the nearer overseas markets recovering sooner. The drop-in business from the UK market will only compound and add to the length of time for businesses to recover market share.
Fáilte Ireland is ready to provide support to Irish tourism businesses that are feeling the impact of Brexit and COVID-19 on their bottom line.
Our focus in the short to medium term is to work to support Irish tourism businesses to:
- Repivot your experience/offering for the domestic market – driving sales and experiences suitable to the home market
- Optimise sales and channels – direct sales and leveraging the Make a Break for It campaign to support the government Stay and Spend Incentive.
- Financial budgeting, planning and business liquidity – including accessing government supports such as low rate loan schemes and wage subsidy schemes
- Continued access to online and blended learning to ensure skills development is maintained for staff and teams in hospitality and tourism businesses.
Our 2020 Brexit Response programme is built with financial viability and sustainability to the fore as well as operational efficiencies and supporting staff and management. We have provided a range of supports to you and your staff to assist you navigate your path through Brexit.