Calls Within Clare Tourism And Hospitality Sector For Proactive Approach From Government

Calls have been made within the Clare Tourism and Hospitality sector, for a more proactive approach from Government in the weeks leading up to Brexit.

Cabinet Ministers have been briefed on the potential for thousands of job losses in the sector in the event of a No deal scenario.

The chair of Clare Tourism says now is the time to act, before it’s too late.

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The statistics surrounding Brexit, and its impact on tourism, are stark.

According to Fáilte Ireland, at least 10,000 jobs would be lost in the tourism sector alone in the event of a no-deal, and that the loss of more than one million British tourists each year would cost the economy €380 million a year.

Equally worryingly is that the turmoil cross-channel seems to make a no deal scenario more likely, with Britain’s exit date now less than eight weeks away.

Minister Michael Ring has told Clare FM’s Morning Focus that Clare businesses, especially those who trade with the UK, need to act now to ward off the worst consequences.

Calls have been made for the lower VAT rate for the tourism sector to be reinstated in light of the projected difficulties facing the sector.

Chair of Clare Tourism, Maurice Walsh insists it’s crucial that Ireland gets ahead of the problem

But a Former President of the Irish Hotels Federation doesn’t believe that there is any leeway for the Government to cut the VAT rate.

However, Lahinch hotelier Michael Vaughan does think a series of supports could be rolled out for areas reliant on seasonal tourism, which would benefit both businesses and their employees.

Regardless of the type of Brexit that’s in store, or even if there’s none, it’s already the case that the fall in value of sterling has prompted more UK visitors to stay away from Ireland.

Many tourism providers report a drop in UK trade this summer when compared with last year.

And after the Taoiseach admitted Ireland may have to live with the fallout of a No Deal scenario for some time, before new negotiations on a future arrangement take place, former Minister and Clare TD Tony Killeen has agreed, saying he believes it could be some time before the ‘new normal’ is found.