The Irish Tourism Industry Confederation (ITIC) has urged the Irish government to introduce a one-off bank holiday this September. The business group representing all key tourism and hospitality stakeholders – including Aer Lingus, DAA, the Irish Hotels Federation, and the attraction sector – said that creating an additional bank holiday at the end of September would stretch the domestic tourism season as well as reward a hard-pressed public.
Eoghan O’Mara Walsh, CEO of ITIC, said: “With only 9 bank holidays, Ireland compares unfavourably to the rest of Europe and considering the impact of the pandemic now is the year for Ireland to create a bank holiday on the last Monday in September”. (See graphic above)
ITIC also called for Government to publish a clear aviation plan by month-end stating how and when international travel can recommence.
“The loss of international visitors is costing the tourism industry €27 million per day,” the ITIC said in a statement.
“The government needs to scrap the ban on non-essential travel and mandatory hotel quarantine and instead adopt the European Commission’s Covid-19 cert which allows intra EU travel for those vaccinated, those with a negative test, or those who have been previously infected.”
“What is urgently needed now is a plan from Government stating how international inbound tourism can recommence. Ireland’s tourism industry is down 90% in revenue over the last 12 months with 160,000 job losses. Ireland should immediately operate the Common Travel Area and allow for free unfettered movement between the UK and Ireland and also should develop a travel corridor with the USA, a country whose adult population is expected to be vaccinated this month,” added Eoghan O’Mara Walsh.
ITIC stressed that such has been the dramatic impact of Covid on the industry that financial supports would be needed even after the sector reopens and also urged Government to embrace antigen testing which would allow for gatherings of people at weddings, events and business conferences.