A state support package for Irish tourism to ease the crisis caused by the flood of US cancellations following the New York and Washington attacks has been called for by the Irish Hotels Federation.
With members' US business already down by 70%, the federation estimates that the tourist industry will lose more than 200,000 US visitors between now and the end of the year, representing income of more than IR£100m (£79.2m).
Federation chief executive John Power said that a promotional fund of IR£5m (£4m) should be immediately set up; business rates should be waived; a further IR£20m (£15.8m) should be added to next year's budget for Tourism Ireland; and cuts should be made in airport and sea-port charges.
Last year visitors from the USA contributed more than IR£500m (£395.9m) to the Irish economy. Now the Central Bank of Ireland is warning the tourist industry that, on the evidence of what happened after the Gulf War, it may be several years before US visitor numbers recover.
- Irish hotels are also busily preparing for the January changeover from pounds to euros, with dual pricing introduced last week on all menus and till receipts. Most have signed up for a national code of practice guaranteeing that there will be no price manipulation during the changeover.
Source: Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine, 11-17 October 2001