- First report of group makes key recommendations
- Future of tourism sector at stake
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Tourism and Aviation Cathal Crowe has welcomed the recommendations of the first report of the Recovery Oversight Group for Tourism.
The group, appointed by Minister Catherine Martin in December, has made its first report back to the Department of Tourism, with a number of key areas which its members believe require urgent attention.
“I fully welcome the recommendations contained in this report,” said Deputy Crowe.
“The experts involved in this group have called for both the CRSS and EWSS to be extended; for the rates waiver to be continued and for the 9% VAT rate for tourism to be kept in place until 2025, among a number of other recommendations.
“It’s vital now that we listen to what they have come out and said.
“Although all the measures to keep the tourism sector buoyant at this time are costly to the state, it makes sense that they should continue – because simply put, the alternative is to stand back and watch the sector collapse, resulting in a huge amount of other pressures on the state’s social welfare system
“We’ve now been living with the Covid-19 pandemic for a full year.
“In this time, we have seen the tourism sector reach a rock bottom point but – crucially – also enjoy a reasonably healthy summer season, with plenty of domestic tourism, which we need to focus on again.
“We also need to acknowledge that the tourism sector has a vast supply chain. A hotel in Clare, or anywhere in Ireland, may have a hundred or so on payroll but the same hotel sustains local butchers, bakers, farmers, dairy suppliers, launderettes and so on.
“In parts of rural Clare, tourism businesses are the only local source of income for a lot of people – so many of our teenagers and young adults start out in these businesses and fund their education through that income.
“We need to acknowledge that money in tourism circulates better than probably most sectors in our economy.
“As Fianna Fáil’s Spokesperson on Tourism, I will be lobbying for as many of these supports as possible to remain in place and for the oversight group’s recommendations to be taken on board and implemented.”