‘Disappointing’ Garth Brooks debacle damages Ireland’s international perception – Dublin Chamber of Commerce
Published 03/07/2014 | 14:10
The possible cancellation of some or all of the scheduled Garth Brooks concerts this month is having a negative impact for us internationally, according to a spokesperson for the Dublin Chamber of Commerce.
Patrick King, Policy and Communications manager with Dublin Chamber of Commerce said it would “really disappointing” if Ireland couldn’t facilitate the country superstar, despite having two international stadiums.
“[Garth Brooks] picked here to start his international tour and we don’t want to send a message that that’s something we’re not able to do,” King told RTE Radio 1 earlier today.
“All messages are based on perception. The question is whether we can do this better in future.”
King said that the planned concerts at Croke Park were originally estimated at generating €50m for Irish economy.
“It’s the start of an international tour with five nights so it had a huge draw from outside the State. That €50m is now going to be along the lines of €30m,” he said.
“And while it’s an unfortunate [situation], I think we still have to have a positive take on it. Hopefully, three of the nights will still go forward.
King said he couldn’t comment on how much fans would lose on travel and accommodation if the concerts were axed.
“But hopefully some kind of arrangement can be made. It looks like it will only be those three.”
He warned that those buying tickets in the future should remember that "the ticket is a bit of a contract" and that it does include the line ‘subject to licence’ in the small print.
“I think we all take that with a pinch of salt sometimes and I think we need to think about that a bit more.”
Earlier, the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) has released a statement this afternoon stating that the cancellation of two of the Garth Brooks concerts later this month would have an "extremely negative impact" on Ireland’s image abroad as a tourist destination, disrupting the travel plans of many tens of thousands of visitors who would now be left disappointed.
IHF President Stephen McNally said that the cancellation would deal a blow to tourism businesses: “The Garth Brooks concerts are a major tourism event this year and hotels have seen enormous interest both at home and from overseas visitors, particularly from the UK and rest of Europe. Many of these visitors will have planned to extend their visit and travel outside of Dublin during their stay, so the impact will also be felt further afield across the country.”
Mr McNally added: “This situation was avoidable and will damage Ireland’s tourism brand – something tourism businesses and bodies invest significant resources to promote in overseas markets.”