Wednesday 22 May 2019

Tourism chiefs meet on foreign fans travel plans

Leo Varadkar, TD, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport
Leo Varadkar, TD, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport
Fionnan Sheahan

Fionnan Sheahan

TOURISM industry figures will hold talks this morning on ways to get Garth Brooks' fans from overseas to continue with their trip to the country.

Some 70,000 fans are travelling from abroad to attend the five concerts by the country and western singer. Aside from the loss to the economy of the cancellation of the concerts, there are concerns about the damage to Ireland's reputation as a tourism destination.

The meeting with officials from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport will tease out options, such as discounts and refunds, to entice fans to continue to travel.

Transport and Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar ordered the meeting in the wake of the threat to the concerts.

The bulk of the visitors are thought to have booked flights and hotels to attend the concerts in Croke Park. But a large number were also expected to include attending the concert as part of a longer holiday in Ireland.

"It's to see what we can do to address any reputation damage from a tourism point of view, looking at discounts, refunds and freebies. It's about assisting overseas visitors who no longer have a concert to go to," a source said.

The meeting will be attended by representatives from Failte Ireland, Tourism Ireland, the Irish Hotels Federation and the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation. Ways to limit the damage from the cancellation of the concerts will be on the table. A lot of overseas fans are expected to try to cut their losses by cancelling their flights and accommodation.

The tourism industry meeting is aimed at finding ways to persuade fans to continue to travel to Ireland.

Irish Independent

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