Call For Kerry Politicians To Mobilise And Help Tourism Industry

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THE Kerry Tourism Industry Federation (KTIF) is calling on Kerry’s politicians to set aside their differences and mobilise behind their county as the Kingdom braces itself for the economic fallout from Covid-19.

According to an assessment commissioned by Kerry County Council and compiled by economist James Dorgan, the economy in Kerry is set to suffer losses of up to €1 billion in 2020 due to the impact of Covid-19 and a large percentage of this deficit will be due to the decline in tourism.

“This report makes for very grim reading, but we need to be realistic about the serious challenges facing our county,” says Pat O’Leary, Kerry Tourism Industry Federation Chairperson. “It spells out, in no uncertain terms, that our tourism industry needs help now if we are to save people’s incomes and livelihoods.”

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, it is estimated that 1 in 5 jobs in Kerry were dependent on tourism, in fact Kerry is much more dependent on tourism than any other county in Ireland. According to the assessment, tourism and related industries will see a drop of more than 70% in income this year which is the equivalent of nearly 10% of total estimated Kerry household incomes.   The recent survey shows a direct hit to the tourism sector in Kerry of some half a billion Euro in 2020.

The assessment cites the lack of certainty around international travel regulations, the implications of social distancing and hygiene protocols on tourism operators, the seasonal nature of the industry and the precautionary reluctance of the domestic market as the major contributory factors.

“We (KTIF) have already presented our public representatives with a number of measures which, if implemented, would help the tourism industry navigate its way through this crisis. We need our politicians to act on these measures now.”

KTIF’s programme of measures were identified after extensive consultation with Kerry tourism practitioners and engagement with Kerry County Council and other public bodies, and include immediate and long-term actions.

“This is a time for innovative solutions with a view to recovering the current situation and progressing a series of measures for the future of the Industry in the county.   In particular immediate and ambitious financial intervention by Government is urgently required at this time.   We look forward to, and have no doubt that with all parties working as a unified team that, the tourism industry in the county will recover and return to its pre Covid-19 position as the leader in the sector in the country,” concludes O’Leary.

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