Is Covid-19 the Foot and Mouth disease of the hospitality industry
Ireland's tourism, hospitality and leisure industry has taken a huge hit in recent week due to the advent of Covid-19.
Although Ireland has progressed to the containment phase of the coronavirus, widespread cancellations and the postponement of St.Patrick's day and other events has meant that the sector has been experiencing a notable decline in bookings and revenue.
Minister Shane Ross stated that "at a meeting with Minister Paschal Donohoe, we have sought the introduction of immediate measures to stabilise cash flow, liquidity and working capital for the businesses in our sector. We must minimise business closures and job losses and the best chance of achieving that is to minimise cash outflows from the businesses. This includes making significant reductions to VAT, local rates, water charges and other outgoings.”This hit extends to hotels, restaurants, visitor attractions, tour operators, coach service providers and other businesses across Ireland.
Comparisons were drawn between the agriculture sector and the Foot and Mouth disease in 2001, to what Covid-19 represents for the hospitality sector in 2020.
Minister Brendan Griffin said “Covid-19 for the Tourism industry is what ‘Foot and Mouth’ disease was for the Agriculture sector in 2001."
Both ministers continued to suggest that allowing businesses to reduce payments to Revenue, banks and other local authorities would represent the first step in stabilising and rehabilitating the hospitality sector.