The Irish Tourism Industry Confederation (ITIC) has said that the Irish hospitality and tourism sectors require "unprecedented support" to help hospitality and tourism businesses survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Another Gruelling Year"
In a statement published on its website, ITIC said, "It is quickly becoming apparent that 2021 will be another gruelling year for Ireland's tourism industry. Businesses are shut as the pandemic rages and, even with the vaccine roll out, it seems that the tourism and hospitality economy will not be allowed to reopen for the first few months of the year.
"In that context, Ireland’s largest indigenous industry and biggest regional employer needs unprecedented support if it is to survive this existential crisis."
"Nine Key Policies"
ITIC continued, "The Irish Tourism Industry Confederation (ITIC) – representing the leading stakeholders within the sector – has identified nine key polices that are needed now and in the coming months so that the essential fabric of Ireland’s tourism industry is preserved."
The nine policies that ITIC said are needed now are as follows:
- an urgent roll-out of a vaccination programme and the publication of key milestones;
- a doubling of the COVID Restrictions Support Scheme and an extension of the scheme to all tourism businesses with the removal of the current cap;
- an extension of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme at current levels for the rest of 2021;
- a doubling of tourism budgets, including business continuity grants, marketing funds and upskilling programmes;
- a relaunch and redesign of the Stay & Spend Scheme as a consumer-friendly voucher;
- an extension of the waiver on local authority rates for all of 2021;
- the introduction of a cost-effective, rapid and scalable COVID-19 testing regime for international travellers;
- a continuation of VAT at 9% with no review until 2025;
- and a six month moratorium on bank loans for businesses and mortgages for tourism employees.
© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.