Fáilte Ireland has revealed its new €50m Tourism Business Continuity Programme for 2022.
The €50m allocation was secured by Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sport, Gaeltacht and Media, Catherine Martin, TD, in Budget 2022 and Fáilte Ireland is responsible for developing and administering the funding programme.
The Tourism Business Continuity Programme was unveiled at a virtual event for industry today (8 December) that was attended by more than 2,500 tourism and hospitality providers.
“As we look forward to 2022, we face continued challenges in early 2022 both domestically and internationally, but we can look ahead to recovery with cautious optimism”
The Programme will support strategic tourism transport businesses, Irish-based inbound agents, attractions and activities providers, and tourism accommodation providers and will build on the five-phase €55m Tourism Business Continuity Scheme administered by Fáilte Ireland in 2021.
Immediate survival concerns for tourism firms
Sea kayakers resting in False Bay, Mannin, Connemara, Co Galway
“The €50m allocation secured in Budget 2022 for this Tourism Business Continuity Programme will help address immediate survival concerns for many tourism businesses,” said Minister Martin.
“The Government recognises the vital contribution that the tourism and hospitality sectors make to our national economy and to employment around the country. We are clear in our determination to continue to support the industry with appropriate funding and business supports as we navigate the Covid-19 pandemic together.”
The first two phases of the 2022 Tourism Business Continuity Programme will open for applications from Strategic Tourism Transport Providers and Irish Based Inbound Agents on the 11th and 12th of January 2022. The phasing of the Programme has been designed to ensure the support is provided to the businesses that need it most urgently, with consideration given to other government funding already received.
Two further phases of the Programme, for Attractions and Activities Providers and Tourism Accommodation Providers, will commence in early March 2022.
In his address to industry at the virtual event, Fáilte Ireland CEO Paul Kelly said: “2021 has been a more challenging year for tourism than expected. As we look forward to 2022, we face continued challenges in early 2022 both domestically and internationally, but we can look ahead to recovery with cautious optimism. We are seeing encouraging markers such as the increase in seat capacity and an uplift in repeat bookings from springtime as positive signals for the second half of 2022. However, it is critical we address the immediate survival needs of our sector in early 2022 to ensure as many businesses as possible can be sustained.
“Business performance across the tourism sector this year has been mixed, with those businesses who rely heavily on inbound tourism struggling the most. These businesses require supports to help them survive in the short term, particularly as we wait for the international market to recover, and thrive in the long term.
“We have designed the 2022 Tourism Business Continuity Programme to help sustain strategic tourism businesses next year by ensuring support for those that experienced the greatest difficulty in 2021, so they can remain viable and open to service both domestic and international visitors as the sector recovers,” Kelly said.
Main image at top: Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sport, Gaeltacht and Media, Catherine Martin, TD, with Paul Kelly CEO, Fáilte Ireland