Tourism Ministers on both sides of the border have met to discuss the impact of the Corvid-19 crisis on tourism on the island of Ireland
Transport, Tourism and Sport, Minister Shane Ross has spoken with his counterpart, Diane Dodds, MLA, Minister for the Economy in Northern Ireland on an industry that has been devastated by Covid-19 restrictions, particularly the like of Donegal which attracts a huge number of visitors from Northern Ireland each year.
Minister Ross said:
“We enjoy strong cooperation on tourism on the island of Ireland and this will be more important than ever as the sector seeks to recover from the devastation wrought by Covid-19. Minister Dodds and I agreed that we will keep the lines of communication open in this regard”.
“We discussed the devastating impact of the crisis on tourism as well as the economic mitigations measures put in place to date. While we agree that public health is the primary concern, we discussed possible mechanisms to promote recovery in the sector when restrictions are eased.”
In addition, following discussions with representatives of the tourism and hospitality industry, Minister Shane Ross and Minister of State Brendan Griffin T.D arranged teleconference calls with representatives of the Banking and Insurance sectors. These talks highlighted current and future concerns and the need for these sectors to play their part in helping tourism and hospitality enterprises to survive the current difficulties and enable them to recover.
Both Ministers met by teleconference with representatives from the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), Bank of Ireland, AIB, Ulster Bank and PTSB, to discuss difficulties being experienced by tourism businesses in accessing financial supports. After the discussion, the BPFI undertook to consider how further assistance might be provided to SMEs in the Tourism and Hospitality sector. A further meeting will take place shortly.
Both Ministers also met with Insurance Ireland to discuss concerns raised by the tourism and hospitality representative bodies. Ministers reiterated the recent message from the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform that the insurance industry needs to help itself and to do the right thing by customers during this time.
Minister Ross said that “Banking and Insurance companies have a vital role to play in helping the tourism and hospitality sector during the current crisis. We are working with both industries to ensure they deal with tourism businesses in a fair and flexible manner to the benefit of all”.
Minister of State Griffin stated that “We need to ensure that all industry partners work together to overcome these issues and both the banking and insurance sectors are central to this. We will continue to work with the financial institutions and other bodies to provide whatever assistance we can to the tourism and hospitality sector during this crisis."
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