The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD, and the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, today (Friday, 9 October 2020) established the Hospitality and Tourism Forum.
Few sectors have been as severely impacted by the pandemic as the hospitality and tourism industry. In recognition of the devasting impact the virus has had, the Tánaiste and Minister Martin have today established the Hospitality and Tourism Forum to provide an outlet for their concerns and to look at the practical actions which can be taken to help business owners and their workers.
The Tánaiste said:
“The pandemic has not affected everyone equally. It has had a heart-breaking impact on those working in the hospitality and tourism sectors in particular. These are the people who have given us the time of our lives but unfortunately, many of the places we go to enjoy ourselves are also settings where the virus thrives.
Minister Martin and I have established this Forum, which will meet throughout the year, to hear directly from those in the sector. It will facilitate a deeper understanding of what business owners and their staff are going through and what the Government can do to help. More than anything, we want these businesses to survive through this really difficult period and thrive again.”
The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD stated:
“The Tánaiste and I are very aware that hospitality and tourism are some of the most directly affected sectors of COVID-19. The pandemic has had a devastating impact on employment and the viability of thousands of businesses. We appreciate the efforts that have been made by businesses to continue to trade safely and we are particularly aware that recent Level 3 restrictions have led to the closure of many businesses.
As a result, we have established this Forum to engage with a wide spectrum of industry stakeholders in order to assess the continuing impact of the pandemic, to help improve understanding and responses to the crisis and to discuss ideas for recovery measures, thus assisting the Government in formulating its on-going response to the crisis.
The Tourism Recovery Plan, which I brought to Government earlier this week, contains a number of recommendations to help our hospitality and tourism sectors survive the current crisis and also to help in the recovery phase over the period ahead. I am confident that the industry can recover and I look forward to engaging further with the Hospitality and Tourism Forum as we work together in framing policies that will underpin that recovery.”
Representatives from the hospitality and tourism sectors on the Forum will include:
- Irish Hotels Federation
- Restaurants Association of Ireland
- Vintners Federation of Ireland
- Licenced Vintners Association
- Drinks Ireland
- Association of Irish Professional Conference Organisers
- B&B Ireland
- Event Industry Ireland
- Irish Self Catering Federation
- Irish Tourism Industry Confederation
- Incoming Tour Operators Association
- Coach Tourism & Transport Council of Ireland
- Association for the Visitor Experience and Attractions
- Irish Congress of Trade Union
The following public sector bodies and Agencies will also be represented on the Forum:
- Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media
- Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment
- Fáilte Ireland
- Tourism Ireland
The Forum will meet four times each year, but may convene more frequently by agreement.