Monday 21 October 2019

Irish tourism to launch €40m campaign to lure British tourists in event of no-deal Brexit

Restaurants Association of Ireland criticised 'vague' statement in Budget 2020 regarding support for tourism sector

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe TD with Budget 2020 at Government Buildings, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins
Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe TD with Budget 2020 at Government Buildings, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

By Alan O'Keeffe

British tourists and holidaymakers are to be wooed by Irish tourism agencies in the face of Brexit upheavals.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe told the Dáil he was allocating €40m in "tourism-specific initiatives", but promised more State money for the sector if Britain crashes out of the European Union without a deal.

"The Government will further support the industry should a no deal happen," he said in his Budget speech.

READ MORE: Anti-Irish sentiment driving UK tourists away, claims FF

The Government's Expenditure Report for next year stated the E-Tourism Services Programme seeks to prepare the tourism sector to address the impact of Brexit.

Money already allocated this year will allow the State to:

* Enable tourism marketing next year to continue to seek increases in income from overseas tourists to €6.5bn, excluding receipts from carrier transport companies, by 2025;

* Support tourism sustainability through enterprise supports and capital investment;

* Support the development of Greenway routes;

* Increase tourism from Britain "with a strong focus on regional growth and season extension, which is critical in the context of Brexit".

Within minutes of the Budget being presented in the Dáil, Adrian Cummins, chief executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland criticised Minister Donohoe's "vague" statement regarding the extra €40m in State support for the tourism sector.

He said it was "unclear" how the €40m would be spent and whether the money would be channelled directly into the business sector - "very vague."

He accused Tourism Minister Shane Ross of having "failed" to help struggling businesses.

The figures so far:

TRANSPORT

  • Transport spending will be increased by €357m as the Government progresses Climate Action Plan projects.
  • €9m will go to sustainable mobility projects around the country, including greenways and urban cycling projects.
  • €3m for electric vehicle infrastructure.

-Double the number of local council street charging points to double next year.

  • A new scheme to install communal charging points at apartment blocks.

-Fast charging points at taxi ranks at transport hubs.

  • €8m will go to maintaining grants for individuals to buy electric cars.

-Capital spending to continue for BusConnects programme, MetroLink and the DART Expansion programme.

-Starting building work to start on the National Train Control Centre;

-Construction of a new train station at Pelletstown.

-Delivery of eight longer LUAS trams next year and tram extensions to enhance passenger capacity on the Green Line;;

-Delivery of additional InterCity rail cars.

SPORTS

  • Sports funding special allocations for participation in both the Euro 2020 football tournament and Tokyo Olympics next year.
  • Continue funding Sports Capital Programme.
  • Finalise payments to the Kerry Sports Academy at the Institute of Technology Tralee.

-Support will be provided for the continued development of the Sports Ireland National Sports Campus.

TOURISM

  • €40m in "tourism specific initiatives" but more State money promised for the sector if Britain crashes out of the European Union without a deal.

* Support tourism sustainability through enterprise supports and capital investment.

* Support the development of Greenway routes.

* Increase tourism from Britain "with a strong focus on regional growth and season extension, which is critical in the context of Brexit."

READ MORE: Restaurants and hotels told to hike salaries as hospitality booms

Online Editors

Also in Business