Action needs to be taken to protect dropping UK visitor market – Cope

first_imgDeputy Pat the Cope Gallagher says the failure of Minister Shane Ross to develop a national mitigation plan for the tourism industry in light of Brexit is a dereliction of his duties as Minister.He added that moreover it is a failure on the part of the Government to prepare and protect the Irish Tourism market for post Brexit shocks.Speaking following the release of the latest overseas visitor numbers by the CSO, which showed that while overall visitor numbers continue to rise, numbers from the UK are down 6.4% on last year. He said “I have raised this matter earlier this year when I highlighted the potential dangers of the decline in sterling and the dynamic from the fallout of the Brexit decision.”Pat the Cope added rapidly falling tourism visitors from the UK due to Brexit and sterling devaluation is now becoming a reality.He said “I fear that the decline this year could herald an even more substantial drop-off in UK visitors over the next two years, as Brexit chips away at consumer confidence among British would-be tourists. This is most concerning for the border counties and especially Donegal as we benefit directly from the UK market and have a heavy dependence on the UK visitors.”He claimed Minister Ross has been an absentee Minister for Tourism so far in this Government focusing only on PR events but totally absent in terms of policy formation or progressing the sector. “What is deeply concerning for me is that the Government did not see this coming and put in place preventive measures – there is a clear sense from Minister Ross and the Government in general, of self-satisfaction with the Tourism numbers which were published recently. Minister Ross just does not seem to get just how dangerous these trends could be for the Irish tourism sector.“While overall tourism numbers are still marginally up on last year, the reality is that UK visitors are the bedrock of the tourism sector, accounting for 41% of the total number of overseas visitors to Ireland. Given the sheer number of visitors from the UK, they cannot be replaced quickly or easily by visitors from other countries. Many smaller tourism businesses in particular will feel the pinch if numbers from the UK continue to decline at this rate especially in the years ahead.”Pat the Cope further added the tourism sector is crying out for a national mitigation plan to reduce the impact of Brexit and global uncertainty.“Yet Minister Ross has done nothing to assure the sector that he has a plan that can protect jobs. The strategy of the Minister seems to be to hold endless conferences and press gatherings to boast of our success, gleefully ignoring the looming threat hanging over the sector. The Government in the forthcoming budget must prioritise Tourism investment, with special emphasis on the UK market in terms of promotion and marketing, now is the time to invest in protecting the UK market for Irish Tourism and the hospitality sector.“We need a new overarching tourism policy to reassure the industry that there is a strategy in place for the consequences of Brexit and we need a support fund for areas that will be hit especially hard from a sharp decline in visitors from Britain,” concluded Pat the Cope. Action needs to be taken to protect dropping UK visitor market – Cope was last modified: August 16th, 2017 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:BrexitdonegalPat The Cope Gallagherlast_img read more

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