Shane Ross And Tourism Ireland CEO Have 'Very Positive' Brexit Meeting
Shane Ross, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport held a 'very positive meeting' with the CEO of Tourism Ireland, Niall Gibbons, in which Ireland's tourism prospects in relation to Brexit were discussed.
Ross said: "We reviewed the very strong performance to date in 2016 from all of Ireland’s source market regions. We also examined the plans that are in place to address the consequences of Brexit for the tourism industry in Ireland."
Factors such as retaining the 9% VAT rate for the country's tourism sector in Budget 2017, which was described by the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation as allowing 'Ireland to remain competitive in this key period of post-Brexit uncertainty', will be a key factor in helping Irish tourism to deal with the challenges of Brexit.
Ross added: "We are closely monitoring developments in the British outbound tourism market. As our closest neighbour and our largest source market for overseas visits, Great Britain will remain a priority market. In parallel with that, a review of new and developing tourism markets is underway and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2017. However, the immediate challenge to Ireland’s tourism sector arising from the Brexit vote is the rapid decline in the value of sterling which could potentially damage the competitiveness of the tourism industry. It is imperative that the tourism industry examines current pricing levels to ensure that Ireland’s competitive position is maintained."
Gibbons commented: "Most importantly we discussed Brexit and its implications for Irish tourism, in advance of next week’s Export Trade Council meeting. Our aim is to ensure that 2016 is another record-breaking year for Irish tourism. We have an extensive programme of promotions happening between now and the end of the year, to boost business in the shoulder and off-peak season. This includes a major presence at World Travel Market in London, the largest B2B event in the global travel calendar; a sales mission to Australia and New Zealand; and a ‘Jump into Ireland’ travel trade and media blitz on the west coast of the US."