Saturday 21 September 2019

Irish tourism heading into 'choppier waters' with Brexit - Fáilte Ireland boss

Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland, at the Let's Talk Tourism forum in Killarney. Photo: Don MacMonagle
Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland, at the Let's Talk Tourism forum in Killarney. Photo: Don MacMonagle
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

THE Irish tourism industry is heading into “choppier waters” due to Brexit, Fáilte Ireland boss Paul Kelly has warned.

His agency has said that at least 10,000 jobs in the sector are at risk in a crash-out Brexit.

The potential loss of more than a million British tourists a year could result in a €380m annual hit to the industry.

Mr Kelly this morning said the tourism is facing “challenges” with Brexit and is “certainly into choppier waters than a year ago.”

He also said he believes the industry “will weather that” as he set out Fáilte Ireland's strategy for growing tourism in rural areas.

Mr Kelly was speaking at the Kennedy Summer School in New Ross, Co Wexford.

He said that Fáilte Ireland will leverage all of the regions at it's disposal, citing its brands including Ireland's Ancient East, the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland's Hidden Heartlands.

He said these are “key ways to get growth and spread regional benefits”.

Mr Kelly said Fáilte Ireland is also working to extend the tourism season into spring, autumn and winter as it's “hard” to have a sustainable business focused on the summer.

Mr Kelly said the organisation has a “comprehensive Brexit response programme” and is working with the industry to mitigate its effects “as much as we can”.

Mr Kelly also said: “Tourism's value to the economy is as an industry that exits in many parts of Ireland where no other sector thrives.”

Online Editors

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