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July Industry Newsletter – Update from Fáilte Ireland CEO, Paul Kelly

This week saw the reopening of indoor hospitality and it marks an important step on the road to recovery for the tourism and hospitality sector. Fáilte Ireland has worked tirelessly with the Government and the hospitality representative bodies to get to this point and it is encouraging to see businesses, many of which have not been able to open previously, welcoming customers back through their doors.  

With the recent good weather, it has also been great to see people enjoying new and enhanced outdoor dining experiences across the country, driven by the creativity and resilience of the industry, with funding and support from Fáilte Ireland and local authorities.

This month also saw the return of international travel bringing a natural increase in international bookings and while this is hugely significant for the recovery of the sector, we expect the return of overseas visitors to be slow for the foreseeable future. 

The domestic market will be key over the coming months but right now we are seeing mixed performance across both destinations and sectors. Fáilte Ireland continues to push domestic demand through our ‘Keep Discovering’ marketing campaign. Our TV, print and radio advertising encourages people to take breaks this summer and into the shoulder season, focusing on both our regional experience brands and destinations we know are experiencing lower levels of occupancy.

We are also showcasing destinations across the country through outside broadcasts and content segments on Virgin Media’s Ireland AM and the Six O' Clock Show, press trips to drive editorial coverage in publications including RTÉ online, The Irish Times and the Sunday World and paid and organic social media. To offer reassurance and boost public confidence in the safety of tourism businesses, we have upweighted our COVID-19 Safety Charter consumer awareness campaign. 

Our online sales campaign in partnership with Tripadvisor, Expedia Group, SuperValu Getaway Breaks and many others is also continuing to help drive both domestic and international bookings. We are extending this nationwide from September and will be working with new partners to build the reach to over 10million consumers. 

We are continuing to provide financial support to help businesses to continue operating throughout the important autumn and winter season. Minister Catherine Martin announced €30million for visitor attractions, outdoor activity operators and tourism accommodation providers through the next two phases of Fáilte Ireland’s Strategic Tourism Business Continuity Scheme. Both Schemes will open for applications on the 5th August 2021 and will support businesses with grants of up to €800,000. 

Fáilte Ireland remains committed to supporting the tourism industry on this road to recovery and we will continue to focus our resources on providing critical operational and business supports to ensure the reopening of tourism and hospitality and to safeguard the viability and competitiveness of our tourism industry.

Please continue to visit our Business Support Hub for support and guidance on areas from recruitment and finance to sales and marketing. 

Paul Kelly,

CEO, Fáilte Ireland

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