The almost 7% drop in number of British travellers visiting Ireland in the first half of this year is as a direct consequence of Brexit and the Government must respond to the drop in tourism with a measured strategy according to Senator Robbie Gallagher.
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) revealed earlier this month that the number of UK residents travelling to Ireland dropped by 6.4% to 949,200 during the three months from April to June this year.
Minister Shane Ross has confirmed, in response to a Fianna Fail question, that a series of actions are being considered to respond to the decline, including specific initiatives to promote the border counties top potential UK visitors.
“The depreciation in sterling since the Brexit vote has had negative implications for Ireland’s tourism sector and sterling is unlikely to dramatically rise in the foreseeable future. In its latest pricing survey, international online booking site Hotel Reservation Services said the cost of a night in a hotel in Dublin has increased by over 9%. We cannot expect British tourists to choose Ireland when they can find accommodation elsewhere that is cheaper and better value,” he added.
“Remaining cost competitive is essential to mitigate any impact of any decline in visitor numbers from Britain. These visitors form the core of our tourism sector in Ireland. We need to reassure the industry that there is a strategy in place for the consequences of Brexit. Retention of the 9% VAT rate is absolutely crucial to overcome any difficulties that may arise as we move further towards the reality of Brexit,” he concluded.