FAQs

As a member of the tourism industry, we know you have a lot of urgent questions about how COVID-19 is affecting your business, on everything from Government support to crisis management. This section is designed to help steer you through these uncharted waters and remind you that you’re not alone in this.

FAQs will be reviewed and updated on a regular basis.

Business supports: I am faced with numerous issues from cashflow to laying off staff. Where should I go for advice?

We have a dedicated business supports section on failteireland.ie which hosts our own suite of newly developed Fáilte Ireland supports, all of which have been developed to respond to the urgent needs of the tourism industry. Each support package contains a series of webinars delivered by experts in each field, as well as advice guides (with detailed FAQs) and templates (e.g. templates for managing cashflow).

The supports on the site currently include:

· Business Liquidity: Cashflow, Cost Containment, & Accessing Finance

· HR Risk

· Temporary Layoffs and Redundancies

· Managing Temporary Closure

· Safeguarding Future Revenues

· Jumpstarting Sales

Our supports will constantly evolve to meet the needs of the industry, and we are currently speaking to businesses across the country to get their direct feedback on the supports most urgently needed from the Government and from Fáilte Ireland.

Financial supports: I know the Government has announced a new Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme, but I’m not sure if this applies to me or how this will impact on my business. How do I find out more details on the scheme?

Fáilte Ireland has liaised directly with Revenue to get answers and clarity on questions raised by the tourism industry relating to the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme. You can find answers to the questions in our Guidance on Operation of the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme section. 

Financial supports: I heard Government announcements about financial supports for businesses. Where can we find details of and gain access to Government schemes?

Fáilte Ireland is regularly updating a guide to accessing Government funding and supports, which includes the latest information on financial supports for employees, including COVID-19 Jobseekers Emergency Payments, Illness Benefit, and Short-Term Work Support. Download the latest guide to accessing these funding and supports.

Marketing and market platforms: Is the Keep Discovering campaign still live?

Our new Marketing campaign ‘Keep Discovering’ has been put on hold, and all of our resources are focused on providing the industry with urgent business supports to help them stay afloat during these unprecedented times. The campaign will be reignited at a time when it can be effective and deliver business for the industry.

Marketing and market platforms: Are trade and publicity FAM trips going ahead?

All fam trips which were scheduled up to the end of May have been cancelled and will be rescheduled in Q3/4.

Marketing and market platforms: Conference leads/corporate & incentive leads are dropping off significantly – what’s the future prognosis?

Fáilte Ireland will continue to pay full conference supports to event organisers who have a letter of offer, even when the delegate numbers drop by 50%. 

Fáilte Ireland will cover the costs of any approved site inspections that are cancelled or deferred in line with our processes.  

In relation to bid funding where flights or the bid is cancelled, and flight costs were incurred, we will cover same where the client is unable to claim from either airline or travel insurance.

Significant measures and supports are being considered to ensure that Ireland is best placed to maximise on the recovery.

Marketing and market platforms: Is the launch of Fáilte Ireland’s Tourism Careers campaign going ahead?

We are postponing the launch of our tourism careers campaign until later this year. We will continue to reassess the launch of our Tourism Careers campaign to ensure that it is delivered at a time that is appropriate, effective and reflects the needs of the industry.

We’d like to thank the many tourism businesses and industry partners who have supported our Tourism Careers work to date. The launch event scheduled for 31st March at the Aviva Stadium has been cancelled.

Practical tips for tourism businesses: Cancellation policies - what should businesses be doing?

Business should have a consistent plan around cancellation policy during this unprecedented trading period. While a force majeure clause can usually only be invoked based on government travel bans or advice, consider the longer-term impact of charging cancellation fees for Coronavirus (COVID-19) orientated cancellations. Taking an approach such as allowing a customer to cancel once rebooking takes place within the next 12 months would assist in both managing your customer relationships, and also protect future revenue streams.

Consider a free cancellation policy on all bookings on all rate types through your brand website (if you are not already doing so). This will build greater brand loyalty, and people will remember your generosity. Consider applying this to all rate types even advance purchase.

Actively stay in touch with any forthcoming bookings – speak to them about decision-making procedures around their event so you can be best placed to plan for potential cancellations.

Practical tips for tourism businesses: Are there any more specific guidelines on how to apply HSE COVID-19 guidelines at an operational level in businesses?

Normal existing disinfectant and cleaning protocols that you practice are sufficient to protect staff and visitors in businesses:

· Extra bins for guests to dispose of tissues

· Consider staggering meal sittings to ensure less than 100 people gather at one time

· Ensure tables are positioned at least six feet apart

· Regular hand washing

· Hand sanitizers in public spaces and staff areas

· More public posters in your premises

Practical tips for tourism businesses: What is social distancing?

Social distancing aims, through a variety of means, to decrease or interrupt the spread of COVID-19. It does this by minimising contact between potentially infected individuals and healthy individuals.

Social distancing is keeping a 2m (6ft) space between you and other people. You should not shake hands or make close contact where possible.

It is important to reduce the risk of further spread of the infection.

Practical tips for tourism businesses: Accommodation Registration/Classification Audits - will it be business as usual?

Accommodation assessments and advisory visits have all been deferred until later this year at which time Fáilte Ireland will be in contact with revised dates.

Practical tips for tourism businesses: What are some practical things that I can do immediately?

Create a Coronavirus (COVID-19) policy for your business – be able to communicate clearly what proactive measures you are taking to protect your staff and customers.

Brief all staff and ensure that all team members are aware of it and able to reassure your existing customers.

Make it visible - if they can see it, they will believe it. Ensure that your policy is easy to be seen and can be seen in action. Ample hand sanitisers, public notices, and proactively addressing visitors’ fears will help ease a stressful situation.

In sales interactions, be cognisant that many organisations may not be welcoming sales calls and may be limiting non-essential meetings.