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    With eight days to Brexit, Fáilte Ireland’s Brexit Advisory Group Convenes

    With eight days to Brexit, Fáilte Ireland’s Brexit Advisory Group Convenes

    “We are focused on delivering supports for our industry against the challenges of Brexit”

    Brexit remains a major concern among tourism businesses according to Fáilte Ireland. With 8 days to go before the UK formally leaves the EU on January 31st, the National Tourism Development Authority convened a meeting of its Industry Brexit Advisory Group at its headquarters in Dublin.

    The Group was established by Fáilte Ireland in 2017 to help prepare the industry to be Brexit-ready.  CEOs and senior representatives from businesses and organisations working across the tourism industry gathered to discuss their concerns and plan the next steps in dealing with the impact of Brexit on the tourism sector.

    “The meeting of the Brexit Advisory Group focused on the impact that Brexit is having now on the tourism industry and on our shared and agreed plans for 2020,” stated Jenny De Saulles, Fáilte Ireland’s Director of Sector Development. 

    “Brexit certainty for 2020 has offered some short term clarity that has helped businesses to plan better, but there is certainly no room for complacency as the future implications of Brexit and what happens after the transition period ends at the end of this year remains a major concern for the sector. While we wait for clarity on the operational specifics of Brexit to fully understand its impact and any potential disruption Fáilte Ireland will be delivering a range of supports designed to build resilience in the tourism industry. We’re working with businesses in assessing the risks, improving their channel mix and retaining business from Northern Ireland and the UK while equipping them with the knowledge, expertise and tools to diversify into other markets,” added De Saulles.

    Fáilte Ireland’s Brexit Response Programme has delivered a range of supports around UK & Northern Ireland business retention, market diversification and business competitiveness to over 3,000 businesses and individuals.

    Key actions from Fáilte Ireland’s Industry Brexit Advisory Group meeting include a continuing focus on business retention from UK and Northern Ireland through leveraging our regional brands (Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s Ancient East, Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands and Dublin). To ensure this focus is maximised the Group was given a preview of Fáilte Ireland’s new marketing campaign called ‘Keep Discovering’ which aims to boost home holidays. This will involve a full media campaign targeting the domestic and Northern Ireland market to be launched next month.

    Fáilte Ireland’s ‘Brexit Readiness Check’, business supports and one-to-one mentoring are central to preparing tourism businesses as they continue to put their Brexit plans into action.

    Fáilte Ireland’s Brexit Response Programme includes a number of development programmes to give tourism businesses the tools they need to adapt and prepare for Brexit. These bespoke supports offer insights and expertise from leading tourism specialists in the areas of international sales; UK and Northern Ireland market retention; diversification into new and emerging markets such as China and India; improving business performance and competitiveness within the Irish tourism sector. 

    Fáilte Ireland’s Industry Brexit Advisory Group meeting is chaired by Paul Kelly, Fáilte Ireland’s CEO.  Speaking after the meeting he said:

    “2019 was a mixed year for the tourism industry with little growth in overseas visitor numbers and an anticipated 2% decline in both Northern Ireland visitors and domestic trips with an estimated overall decline of between 1.5 and 2% in total tourism revenue. Our research shows that business sentiment was down towards the end of last year, fuelled by rising costs, weaker than anticipated demand and uncertainty around Brexit.

    In addition. early indications are that for the first time in many years there may be very little, if any growth in air access capacity on routes that are strong for inbound tourism in 2020.  This will make it harder for the industry to grow their overseas tourism revenue this year. We remain fully focused on delivering supports for our industry against both the challenges of Brexit and the many other demand and supply side challenges the sector faces.”  

    To find out more about Fáilte Ireland’s Brexit response programme, see

    Members of Fáilte Ireland’s Industry Brexit Advisory Group include:
    Paul Kelly CEO, Jenny De Saulles, Martina Bromley, Paul Mockler, Caeman Wall and Helen McDaid, Fáilte Ireland, Maria Melia, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS), Shane Clarke, Tourism Ireland, Eoghan O’Meara Walsh, Irish Tourism Industry Confederation (ITIC), Michael Lennon, Irish Hotels Federation (IHF), Niall McCarthy, Dublin Airport Authority, Paul Carty, Association of Visitor Experiences & Attractions (AVEA), Mary Doogan, B&B Ireland, Joe Dolan, The Bush Hotel, Paul Byrne, Radisson Hotel Letterkenny, Stephen Cotter, CIE Tours, Stephen McNally, Dalata Hotel Group, Tony Walker, The Slieve Russell Hotel.

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