Fáilte Ireland Welcomes Measures for Tourism Announced by Minister Martin in Budget 2022
Fáilte Ireland is welcoming the tourism specific and wider economic measures announced in Budget 2022.
CEO of the National Tourism Development Authority, Paul Kelly states “the record level of funding for the tourism sector secured by Minister Catherine Martin TD will make a positive impact on the recovery and economic growth of the industry and individual tourism businesses.”
“Tourism continues to be one of the sectors hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and while the long-term view is hopeful and positive, the short-term outlook is uncertain as a solid return of overseas visitors is not expected until the second half of 2022. The overall financial package secured by the Minister responds to the significant challenges that remain for the sector. The funding provided and initiatives announced reflect the Government’s ongoing commitment to protect the tourism industry’s productive capacity and ability to recover from the crisis. These supports will help in reducing the risk that otherwise vulnerable-but-viable SMEs become insolvent and, ultimately, will benefit the Government’s future fiscal position, notwithstanding the short-term costs,” added Paul Kelly.
Mr Kelly continued; “The tourism businesses most reliant on overseas visitors continue to have revenue levels below 25% of their 2019 levels. The support provided through the Tourism Business Continuity Scheme* in 2021 enabled tourism businesses who have inherently high fixed costs of operation to continue to operate. The allocation to Fáilte Ireland of €50million so we can administer further phases of the Tourism Business Continuity Scheme is very welcome. The Scheme will help sustain strategic tourism businesses during Q1 and Q2 of next year and enable them to survive and prepare well for the return of overseas tourists.”
“The allocation of €27million for a number of initiatives will help us to drive demand and ensure the competitiveness of the sector. Festivals and events play a key role in motivating visitors to travel. Budget 2022 will allow for greater investment in large scale events such as US College Football, postponed high impact festivals and the development of new world-class festivals, all of which will attract both international and domestic visitors. The allocation for domestic marketing will allow us to continue to produce strong sales and marketing campaigns to maximise home holidays which will be vital in helping businesses survive and protect jobs in the sector over the coming years. The investment of €35million for the Tourism Marketing Fund and The Year of the Invitation – a themed year project – will also help stimulate international demand,” added Kelly.
“The use of digital technology has increased as much in the last year as it has over the previous eight years, so it is critical that we build on our hugely important ‘Digital that Delivers’ programme. Funding combined with appropriate resources is needed for the successful delivery of our digitalisation support programme for tourism businesses. This work provides businesses with the tools to boost their online presence and empower them to compete in a highly competitive marketplace. It is critical that we continue this work.”
“The Budget 2022 measures announced will also help support our important work on tourism careers and skills development as we attempt to tackle the critical issue of recruitment and retention in the tourism industry. Appropriate resources and funding are required to deliver a campaign that achieves tangible results to support the long-term survival of the industry,” continued Paul Kelly.
“The allocation of €36.5million in capital funding for tourism product development, an increase of almost €4m on the 2021 allocation, will help us to continue to support the delivery of enhanced tourism amenities in line with the objectives of the new National Development Plan 2021-2030. This includes our Platforms for Growth capital investment strategy that targets large projects with the greatest potential to grow and foster sustainable tourism,” concludes Paul Kelly.
Measures welcomed in Budget 2022 that will benefit tourism:
- €50m for further Tourism Business Continuity Schemes.
- Additional support for domestic marketing, festivals and events including hosting US College Football.
- Investment in Digital that Delivers.
- Further investment to support Fáilte Ireland’s tourism careers work to attract talent, develop skills and retain staff.
- €36.5m in Capital Funding for tourism product development (an increase of almost €4m on 2021 allocation).
- €4m to develop a register of Short-term/Holiday lets as outlined in Housing for All – a New Housing Plan for Ireland.
- €35m increase in the Tourism Marketing Fund, which includes €5m to begin preparations on the Programme for Government commitment to deliver a themed year project, The Year of the Invitation.
- €90million for an aviation package.
- Over €60million to extend the commercial rates waiver for the last quarter of this year targeted at the hospitality, arts and certain tourism related sectors.
- 9% VAT rate for the hospitality and tourism sector until end of August 2022.
- Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) in place in a graduated form until end April 2022.