New taskforce to help save Ireland's flagging tourism sector
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross and Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin T.D., today, May 20, announced the formation of a special Tourism Recovery Taskforce with an Independent Chair, dedicated to spearheading economic recovery for the tourism sector.
Minister Ross said: “Tourism is our country’s largest indigenous employer and central to the economic and social health of the nation. The tourism sector has been near decimated by the current crisis. The vast majority of people working in this sector have either been laid off or are availing of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme. There is a real risk that our communities, towns and cities will not recover from this devastating loss of income, employment and business.
"This cannot be allowed to happen.
"In order to ensure that the tourism sector can emerge from this pandemic ready for business, we need to plan early, plan well and plan together. To this end I am pleased to announce the formation of a dedicated Tourism Recovery Taskforce, made up of leaders from varying sections of the industry, who will work together to deal with the many challenges ahead in a dynamic and innovative manner.
"They will be chaired by Ruth Andrews [CEO of ITOA Ireland, Chair of ITIC, and Special Advisor to AVEA] and have agreed to lend their services voluntarily in order to support the industry at this critical time. I hope that the Taskforce will do its work quickly and efficiently and be in a position to report back to Government by the end of the summer.”
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin T.D. said; “In so many areas of rural Ireland in particular, tourism plays an important role in providing employment and economic opportunity. That employment and economic opportunity is now under serious threat and we must respond with determination to protect the tourism industry.
"This Taskforce will work to ensure that Irish tourism recovers strongly through a strategic and well formulated plan. I wish all of the Taskforce members and the wider stakeholders the best in the challenging times ahead and look forward to working with them all to emerge from this crisis stronger than ever.”
The Taskforce will engage with stakeholders in the tourism sector through a series of consultative meetings and written submissions, so that the views and experiences of all are taken into consideration. All new and innovative ideas for recovery will be considered. The Department’s Tourism Division will provide the secretariat to the Taskforce.