Tour Operators Make Case For Bailout

11 Sep 2020 | 08.50 am

Tour Operators Make Case For Bailout

1,000 jobs at risk among incoming tour operators

11 Sep 2020 | 08.50 am

The Incoming Tour Operators Association is looking for a government bailout during the Covid-19 crisis, saying that it’s imperative that tourism does not lose the estimated €800m that international visitors bring to the economy annually.

The trade group is also seeking abolition of the 14-day quarantine rule for visitors and its replacement with a “safe, structured, test and trace travel protocol consistent with ECDE and EU standards”.

The association points out that unlike the outgoing travel sector ITOA members bring overseas capital into Ireland, supporting an estimated 22,000 jobs.

President Rob Rankin (pictured) stated: “We’re calling for the replacement of the 14-day quarantine for overseas visitors and a pan-European safe protocol to be included in the governments Road-map to recovery and resilience. 

“Our members require certainty, and this can be achieved with a specific date in 2021 when a structured test and trace system for incoming international visitors will be in place. Such certainty will give assurance to visitors that they can retain or book a holiday to Ireland next spring or summer and that deferred business we have given commitments to can be secured.

“Having faced closure since March due to Covid-19, incoming tour operators have lost 98% of their 2020 business due to the travel ban.  If the 31 ITOA member companies are not granted financial aid between now and when the travel ban is lifted, close to 1,000 jobs directly employed in ITOA companies will be lost. “Without urgent financial support, these 31 companies cannot survive until next summer.”

The ITOA wants the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme to be revised upwards to the levels of support provided by the Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme. 

“Companies that have suffered the greatest impact, like ITOA members, due to the restrictions imposed for the public good, should be given greater support. In addition, a graded approach for tourism businesses that have seen their business fall by a minimum of 60% should be put in place,” Rankin added.

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