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    ‘Tale of Two Brexit Impacts’ as Tourism Sector Sentiment Drops

    ‘Tale of Two Brexit Impacts’ as Tourism Sector Sentiment Drops

    Latest Fáilte Ireland Data Shows Tourism Industry Confidence
    Weakens in face of Sterling and UK Volatility with Border Counties Particularly Concerned

    Top-line data from the latest Fáilte Ireland Tourism Barometer, a survey of tourism businesses around the country, shows that overall industry confidence - while still up - has begun to soften.
    Overall, industry sentiment is positive regarding this year’s performance. However, a sense of caution is emerging, with almost a third of accommodation providers maintaining the status quo in 2017 and 15% expressing negative sentiment. Observing the trend, confidence is at its lowest levels in four years.

    Tourism Business Sentiment Autumn 2008-2017

    % 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
    Up 14 15 28 39 41 60 68 70 72 57
    Same 18 11 25 31 25 27 21 23 19 29
    Down 68 74 47 30 35 13 11    7 9 15
    When tourism enterprises are surveyed about performance across markets, Northern Ireland and Britain clearly stand out as areas of concern. Half of the paid serviced accommodation providers surveyed are reporting British business down and two in five have experienced a drop in Northern Irish tourists. The proportion of those businesses impacted rises in northern counties - Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Monaghan and Sligo – which are most exposed to those markets.
    This exposure is further underscored by the fact that almost 70% of enterprises in northern counties say they have been affected by the weakness of sterling and six in ten mention it as a concern (as opposed to 44% and 38% respectively for the rest of the county).
    Thankfully, this year, the impact of Brexit nationally has been compensated by other markets with 62% of businesses reporting America up as well as strong performances from the German and Domestic markets.
    Some slides showing the top-level data – showing business sentiment, market performance and regional variations - can be accessed here
    Commenting today on the top-line data from the Barometer study, Fáilte Ireland CEO Paul Kelly emphasised:

    “This top-line data reflects a tale of two Brexit impacts – with Dublin continuing to thrive but with business confidence weakening as you move further west. Clearly, observing the responses to the survey, those tourism businesses are keenly exposed to a weakening of the British and Northern Irish markets.

    “Brexit is having an impact. On the basis of the most recent CSO data, we revised upwards our estimate of the impact Brexit is having on the sector. We now estimate that, by the end of this year, Brexit will have deprived us of 345,000 UK tourists - representing €100m in revenue and an estimated 2,900 tourism jobs. While on a national level this loss is being compensated by strong performances in the American and other markets, for those regions that are heavily reliant on British and Northern Irish tourists this offers little consolation and Brexit is already making a real impact.”

    Fáilte Ireland surveyed a representative sample of over 500 tourism businesses across a wide variety of types (accommodation, attractions, restaurants, etc) and throughout the country. The full comprehensive Tourism Barometer will be published in the coming weeks. 

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