€30million announced for visitor attractions, activity operators and tourism accommodation providers

€30million announced for visitor attractions, activity operators and tourism accommodation providers

The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sport, Gaeltacht and Media, Catherine Martin T.D. has today 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.    

Note for Editors:  

Eligible businesses   
Eligible businesses under the Attractions and Activity Tourism Operators Business Continuity Scheme include:  
  1. Outdoor Tourism Activity Providers  
  2. Tourism Golf Courses  
  3. Tourism Boat Tour Operators   
  4. Visitor Attractions  
Eligible businesses under the Tourism Accommodation Providers Business Continuity Scheme must be registered or approved under Fáilte Ireland’s National Quality Assurance Framework (NQAF) or must be approved by Fáilte Ireland as Non-Statutory Accommodation Providers:    

a. Statutory:
  1. Hotels
  2. Guest houses  
  3. Holiday Hostels  
  4. Youth Hostels  
  5. Caravan & Camping Parks  
  6. Self-Catering (8 Units or more on one site)  
  7. Holiday Camps   
b. Non-Statutory:  
  1. B&Bs  
  2. Historic Houses  
  3. Self-Catering (7 Units or less on one site)  
  4. Failte Ireland Welcome Standard (exceptions apply)  
c. Accommodation registered under Fáilte Ireland approved Third Party Frameworks, e.g. such as the B&B Ireland Framework  

Strategic Tourism Business Continuity Scheme:   
An allocation of €55million was secured by Minister Catherine Martin TD in Budget 2021 for a programme of funding under the Tourism Business Continuity Scheme. The Tourism Business Continuity Scheme is designed to help strategically important tourism businesses that have suffered significant losses due to COVID-19 through a direct financial contribution to support them to continue operating into the future. There have been three Schemes in this programme of funding to date. Fáilte Ireland is responsible for developing and administering this rolling Scheme.    
The first phase of the Strategic Tourism Business Continuity Scheme opened on the 11th February 2021 to businesses including outdoor activity providers (e.g. bike tours, Surf Schools, Kayaking tours, Angling, tourist boat tour operators, Hop-on-Hop-off Bus tours with onboard tourism experiences, walking tours, instructor led/guided tourism equestrian experiences and golf courses with a tourism offering), Visitor Attractions not eligible for CRSS (e.g. attractions with charity/not for profit status or that are primarily outdoor attractions), Caravan and Camping providers registered with Fáilte Ireland and Cruise Hire companies who met the eligibility criteria. Applications for this stage of the Tourism Business Continuity Scheme closed on the 8th March.   
The second phase entitled the Strategic Tourism Transport Business Continuity Scheme, opened for applications from businesses such as vehicle rental companies, chauffeur and limousine businesses and escorted private tour providers on the 8th April 2021. Applications closed on the 13th May 2021.   
The Tourism Business Continuity Scheme Phase One Plus opened for applications on the 27th May 2021. It was a continuation of the earlier Phase One Scheme and will further support those businesses who have been unable to qualify for assistance under the Government's Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS), or who have received CRSS for only a portion of their business activity. This phase also includes some additional categories of tourism businesses that have not been supported previously, such as not-for-profit accommodation providers. Applications closed on the 24th June. 
Additional Fáilte Ireland Schemes 2020-2021: 
Fáilte Ireland is currently delivering a €17million Outdoor Dining Scheme in partnership with Local Authorities across the country to develop outdoor dining capacity nationwide. Part One of the Scheme provides funding for individual tourism and hospitality businesses to develop and increase their own outdoor seating capacity. Applications are currently open through all Local Authorities. 
Fáilte Ireland administered a €10million Ireland Based Inbound Agents Business Continuity Scheme to support Ireland based inbound agents who package, sell and distribute Ireland’s tourism product overseas to continue operating (Inbound Tour Operators, Destination Management Companies (DMCs) and Professional Conference Organisers (PCOs)). The scheme opened on 24th November 2020 and closed on the 8th December 2020. 
Fáilte Ireland administered a €10million Coach Tourism Business Continuity Scheme to support coach tourism businesses to deal with the devastating impact of COVID-19. The scheme opened on 15th October 2020 and closed on the 5th November 2020. 
Fáilte Ireland administered a €8million Restart Grant Plus scheme for B&Bs to assist B&Bs that do not pay local authority rate with the costs of re-starting and operating their businesses. Applications opened for B&Bs under the National Quality Assurance Framework (NQAF) on the 14th September 2020 and for all other B&Bs on the 19th October. Applications closed on 30th November 2020.  
About Fáilte Ireland:  
As the National Tourism Development Authority, Fáilte Ireland’s role is to support the long-term sustainable growth in the economic, social, cultural and environmental contribution of tourism to Ireland. Tourism is of critical importance to the national economy and to regional development and employment. Pre-coronavirus, the sector generated revenue of €7.5billion annually and supported 260,000 jobs nationwide while contributing €1.7billion to the Exchequer.  
We work in partnership with Government, State agencies, Local Authorities, representative groups and industry, to develop tourism across Ireland by creating destination development plans and networks, investing in infrastructure, activities, visitor attractions and festivals.  Fáilte Ireland also provides consumer and buyer insights, mentoring, business supports and training programmes and buyer platforms to help tourism businesses innovate and grow.   
In addition, Fáilte Ireland supports Business Tourism, managing the bidding for and securing of larger conferences, meetings and events to be hosted in Ireland.  
We are also responsible for domestic holiday marketing across four regional experience brands: Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s Ancient East, Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands and Dublin.     

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