€7m tourism spend to draw in UK visitors
Tourism Ireland is spending €7m this year to reassure UK citizens that Ireland "is still open for business" even in a hard-Brexit scenario.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said Brexit is the single biggest threat to the Irish tourism market. Consequently, the Ireland-wide tourism body has engaged in a massive publicity campaign in the UK to reassure would-be holidaymakers that "Ireland is still open for business".
In a "worst-case scenario" the tourism industry here could lose €390m a year, he told the Irish Independent.
A RedC poll commissioned by a UK and Irish tourism industry Brexit taskforce last January revealed 12pc of UK citizens would postpone their holidays as the threat of a no-deal Brexit loomed in the spring.
"That would have a serious impact if that were to happen again," Mr Gibbons said of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit for UK visitors as the October 31 deadline looms.
Noting that the UK comprised 40pc of the Irish tourism market, he said the fear was that UK holidaymakers may stay closer to home rather than take short breaks to Ireland if the UK leaves the EU without a deal out of fear of uncertainty and currency issues.
"Brexit remains the biggest ongoing challenge, causing uncertainty in Britain and in some mainland Europe markets," he said.