The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sport, Gaeltacht and Media, Catherine Martin T.D. has announced details of the next two phases of Fáilte Ireland’s Strategic Tourism Business Continuity Scheme. The Minister made the announcement in Cork where she held meetings with members of Cork’s tourism industry.
Phases 4 and 5 of the Strategic Tourism Business Continuity Scheme will provide financial support to visitor attractions, outdoor tourism activity operators and tourism accommodation providers. Earlier phases of the Tourism Business Continuity Programme prioritised the provision of funding to a wide spectrum of tourism businesses who were unable to qualify for the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS).
Phase 4 will support eligible visitor attractions and outdoor activity operators, including tourism golf courses and boat tour operators. The maximum grant amount is €800,000.
Phase 5 will apply to eligible Fáilte Ireland approved tourism accommodation providers such as hotels, guesthouses, hostels, holiday camps, caravan and camping parks, self-catering and B&Bs. The maximum grant amount is €800,000.
Both Schemes will open for applications on the 5th August 2021 and close on 17th September 2021.
Announcing the next two Phases of the Scheme in Cork City as she met with members of Cork’s tourism industry, Minister Catherine Martin said:
“I secured €55million for the Tourism Business Continuity Scheme in Budget 2021 to support strategically important tourism businesses through a direct financial contribution. So far three phases of the tourism business continuity schemes have been delivered by Fáilte Ireland aimed at improving the competitiveness and viability of thousands of businesses in the tourism sector. The next two phases in this programme of funding will support critical tourism businesses to continue operating throughout the important autumn and winter season. I am deeply conscious of the effects that measures taken in the interests of public health have had on businesses, in particular the hundreds of thousands of workers whose ability to make a living has been severely curtailed for so long. I will continue to work with my colleagues in Government to ensure the tourism sector is given every possible support to enable it to emerge intact from the pandemic and to build back in a more resilient and sustainable way.”
Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland also speaking in Cork said:
“Phases 4 and 5 are a continuation of past schemes under the rolling Tourism Business Continuity programme as we attempt to support as many tourism businesses as possible in every county across the country. COVID-19 restrictions, a shorter season and reliance on the domestic market has resulted in significant losses for tourism businesses within these sectors. Visitor attractions are one of the primary drivers of tourism demand while the accommodation sector supports tens of thousands of jobs and has a considerable wider economic impact within the destination area.”
Full details and eligibly criteria for the Attractions and Activity Tourism Operators Business Continuity Scheme and the Tourism Accommodation Providers Business Continuity Scheme will be available on www.failteireland.ie from the 5th August 2021.
The Irish Hotels Federation has welcomed the funding support for the registered tourist accommodation sector including hotels and guesthouses. . IHF CEO Tim Fenn said that the sector looked forward to receiving details of the financial support, which is being made available under the Tourism Business Continuity Scheme, when they are available in early August.
Mr Fenn added: “The tourism and hospitality industry has been significantly impacted by government restrictions around the pandemic. The domestic market was very important last year and will be again this year. However, it does not replace international visitor numbers. As an island nation international tourism is critically important, accounting for over 70% of tourism revenue pre-COVID.”
“Government supports to date have been very welcome and have been a lifeline to many businesses in terms of sustaining employment and their wider communities. International tourism will recover, but it will take time. In the meantime, additional supports are vital to enable businesses particularly those reliant on overseas visitors to plan for their recovery and particularly as they face into the traditional off peak tourist season,” he said.