IT is now ‘make or break’ time for Irish tourism with businesses facing an incredibly bleak seven months ahead.
That’s according to the chair of the Cork branch of the Irish Hotels Federation, Fergal Harte who has written a straight-talking letter to the government outlining what he calls the ‘extraordinary and existential challenges facing the industry to safeguard thousands of livelihoods supported by tourism and hospitality.’
‘Prior to Covid-19, tourism businesses across Cork supported 25,300 jobs and generated €895m in revenues annually for the local economy. This year with local tourism struggling under immense financial difficulties, 18,600 tourism jobs (almost 75%) are at risk across Cork. These jobs matter – not only to the people working within the industry but also to the wider economy, especially the many parts of regional Ireland where tourism is the only show in town.
‘Urgent and unprecedented intervention from the government is now required to support tourism businesses and safeguard thousands of jobs throughout the sector,’ he said.
Manager of the Celtic Ross Hotel in Rosscarbery Neil Grant recently tweeted his frustrations when it was reported that 0.0002% of all outbreaks are in hotels, compared to 72% in private homes.
‘This upsets me greatly. We are sweating blood to survive ... this is proof hotels aren’t the problem.’