The Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) has said that Ireland's tourism and hospitality industry is in a state of deepening crisis and, consequently, it requires urgent sector-specific government support.
IHF President Elaina Fitzgerald Kane stated, "The extent of the crisis has been laid bare by [this week'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."
"Decisive Action Is Required"
Fitzgerald Kane added, "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 months, 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."
© 2020 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.