The mayor of Killarney, the town at the centre of Kerry’s 400 million euro tourist industry has called for a review of the decision “to lump tourism” in with five other Government Departments and says the tourism sector deserves its own minister.
A number of recent studies have found Kerry to be worst affected by Covid-19's impact on tourism as it was the county most dependant on the industry.
Brendan Griffin, the Fine Gael TD for Kerry is the outgoing Minister of State for Tourism.?
“It is bitterly disappointing that Tourism has not been given proper recognition and it is shocking to see Tourism thrown with five other Government departments”, Cllr Brendan Cronin, Ind, the newly elected mayor said.
While it was welcome there was a new Government, there was wide expectation that the importance of tourism would be recognised with its own department in order to help to help rebuild following the COVID-19 crisis, he said.
Green TD Catherine Martin will be Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sports and the Gaeltacht, it was announced on Saturday.
Cllr Cronin said he was calling on Taoiseach Micheál Martin to review this decision, stating tourism should have its own minister.
“As Mayor of the Killarney MD, I am urgently appealing to the Taoiseach, Michael Martin, to review this devastating decision for tourism.
"I fundamentally believe that the tourism sector needs its own Cabinet minister to oversee the rebuilding of one of our most indigenous and important employment sectors in this country, and in particular in Kerry,” he said.
However, not just in Killarney and Co Kerry, but “across the country”, tourism was a major employer and was in crisis and it needed the focus of a stand-alone department to re-energise it, Cllr Cronin said.?
Instead, it had been "lumped in" with so many others, and the decision should be reviewed.? Meanwhile, the newly elected mayor of the Dingle region, Kerry’s second-biggest tourist destination on Friday said the focus countywide would be on promoting Kerry as a safe destination.
Specialised training for 4,000 staff was underway in the county, Seamus Cosaí Fitzgerald, (FG) the new mayor of Castleisland - Corca Dhuibhne – Castlielsand District said.