2019 visitor spend dips - Help needed for tourism

2019 visitor spend dips - Help needed for tourism

Tourism is more than ever before an industry between a rock and a hard place.

There is the growing curse of over-tourism afflicting historic capital and regional cities and the most favoured beach resorts.

The response in Sardinia has been the imposition of an entry fee and a limit on visitor numbers at one of the island’s best beaches.

From July, day-trippers in Venice will have to pay a two-tier tourist tax — €3 in low-season months rising to €10 at what the city’s government calls “critical” periods such as a summer weekends.

In Britain, Bath has one of a number of local authorities asking for central government permission to levy a tourism tax.

Yet in Ireland — as in countries across Europe — the economic importance of tourism cannot be underestimated.

The Irish Tourism Industry Confederation is, therefore, justifiably concerned when it sees that while the number of overseas visitors reached a record high of 9.7m in 2019, the money they spent fell for the time in eight years.

The 1% fall to €6.9bn could, perhaps, be a passing blip, put down to three years of Brexit uncertainty, belt-tightening by European travellers and the Vat hospitality tax rate hike.

But perhaps not. The finance department has €40m stashed away as a no-deal Brexit tourism contingency fund.

Some of that should be liberated to offset the cut in government spending on promoting our attractions internationally.

More on this topic

Increase of 1.8% in overseas visitor numbers to Ireland in 2019Increase of 1.8% in overseas visitor numbers to Ireland in 2019

Tourism industry demands Vat cutTourism industry demands Vat cut

Guinness Storehouse is still top attraction but Cliffs of Moher still standing tallGuinness Storehouse is still top attraction but Cliffs of Moher still standing tall

Dublin City Council plans bid to charge tourists new visitor levyDublin City Council plans bid to charge tourists new visitor levy

More in this Section

Gerard Howlin: Election likely to signal end of dominance by big two partiesGerard Howlin: Election likely to signal end of dominance by big two parties

Mick Clifford Podcast: Who is most likely to make up the next government?Mick Clifford Podcast: Who is most likely to make up the next government?

When will there be a coronavirus vaccine? 5 questions answeredWhen will there be a coronavirus vaccine? 5 questions answered

Daniel McConnell: Fine Gael accused of running a ‘Trump-style operation fear’Daniel McConnell: Fine Gael accused of running a ‘Trump-style operation fear’


Lifestyle

The duo are hosting a new Netflix competition show, putting designers through their paces.Next In Fashion: Why Alexa Chung and Tan France are style icons

Fresh water no filter: #instagood.The 10 most Instagrammed lakes in the world

A stay at tranquil hideaway The Residence is an indulgent way to unwind, rest and recuperate, says Sophie Goodall.Why this luxurious Turkish resort is the ultimate sanctuary for wellness and relaxation

The benefits of cutting down on booze can last way beyond the new year. Lauren Taylor finds out more about strategies to help make the change stick.Beyond Dry January: Is it time to reassess our relationship with alcohol in the longer term?

More From The Irish Examiner