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05.05.2020

MEDIA STATEMENT

TOURISM IN A FIGHT FOR SURVIVAL – GOVERNMENT MUST ACT NOW

Hoteliers call for urgent response to Government report into impact of COVID-19 on jobs
 

5th May 2020: Ireland’s tourism and hospitality industry is in a state of deepening crisis requiring urgent, sector-specific Government support. IHF President Elaina Fitzgerald Kane stated: “The extent of the crisis has been laid bare by today’s Government paper examining the impacts of Covid-19. We are now in a fight for survival as an industry with thousands of businesses facing a catastrophic outlook unless the required supports are provided without further delay.”

“Over 90% of hotels have been closed since March and the majority of the tourism industry’s 260,000 employees were either laid off temporarily, or on short time. Yet, 50 days later in what seems like an eternity, there are still no sector specific supports designed to address the unique challenges we face. The employment and business supports announced so far, while welcome, do not go far enough.

Tourism has been a key driver of job growth nationally over the last decade creating 90,000 new jobs, and with the right supports, it can play a significant role again in rebuilding the Irish economy in every village, town and city in Ireland. Decisive action is required and we are calling on the Government to introduce a zero Tourism VAT rate for 12 months2, a waiver on local authority rates and charges until the impact of Covid-19 restrictions has abated and for a minimum of 12 months, as well as targeted liquidity measures to provide working capital for tourism businesses to survive and restart. We are also asking for a continuation of the job subsidy scheme so that businesses can keep their teams together and supported financially until businesses have recovered.

- ENDS -

Media Queries:
Weber Shandwick: Seán Lawless / Ger McCarthy
Mob: 085 11 676 40 / 086 2333590

Editors Notes:

Tourism sector at a glance
(1) Working Paper by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection’s Working Paper on Ireland’s Labour Market (Link)

(2) The IHF is calling for a reduction in tourism VAT to 0% for a minimum of 12 months, then restored to 9% on a permanent basis to assist recovery and secure a viable and sustainable future for tourism.

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