The Irish Tourism Industry Confederation (ITIC) has launched a new tourism industry revival plan and called on the new government to provide Fáilte Ireland with €1 billion to be distributed in grants to struggling tourism sector businesses.
Additionally, ITIC wants a further €500 million for the tourism sector in cheap liquidity loans and other supports.
According to The Irish Times, ITIC chief executive Eoghan O'Mara Walsh said that Fáilte Ireland could help come up with the conditions attached to the proposed €1 billion grant scheme, and that he would not rule out the possibility of tourism businesses handing equity over to the state in exchange for the payouts.
ITIC has forecast that tourism sector revenues will drop to €2.4 billion including air fares this year from the €9.3 billion figure recorded for 2019.
The confederation's tourism industry revival plan details three growth scenarios for Irish tourism between now and 2025, covering a baseline scenario, a pessimistic scenario if the COVID-19 crisis worsens and an optimistic scenario if the crisis comes to a swift end.
Even if the optimistic scenario comes to pass, it would be 2023 at the earliest before the tourism sector would return to 2019 levels.
ITIC has also called for the current 13.5% tourism sector VAT rate to be reduced by 5%; a reduction of the two metre social distancing rule to one metre; and an end to the two week quarantine period for people arriving into the country.
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