Resort-town locals call for 'tourist police', tourism businesses appeal for incentive scheme

Resort-town locals call for 'tourist police', tourism businesses appeal for incentive scheme
On a day of hot, sunny weather and highs of 22 degrees Celsius, tourists converged on Owenahincha Beach in West Cork. Picture: Andy Gibson

Staff should be on hand to advise the public when beaches are overcrowded, as more people opt for 'staycation' holidays, says one Kerry councillor, who wants to see 'tourist police' help locals deal with a large influx of visitors.

There are concerns over the behaviour of large crowds at popular tourist resorts amid restrictions in place to deal with the ongoing pandemic, and Fianna Fáil councillor Breandán Fitzgerald says locals just want the situation managed properly.

Speaking with Newstalk radio, he said: "I don't want any tension between visitors and locals in Kerry. I make my living from tourism here and I want to welcome people."

Elsewhere, the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation says it's vital the government introduces a voucher to incentivise people to holiday in Ireland over the summer.

A tax-back scheme, encouraging 'staycations' and eating out, is mooted to be unveiled by government in the coming days.

Sinn Féin's tourism spokesperson, Imelda Munster, says this would only be valid from September, which means families won't be able to take an Irish holiday ahead of schools' planned partial reopening.

Eoghan O'Meara-Walsh, chief executive of the ITIC, says the start date would not be an issue, but a voucher scheme would be preferred.

"The most important thing, is that it's user-friendly, consumer-centric, and that the majority of people that want to use it, can avail of it."

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