Hopes for tourism boost as hospitality sector reopens

Hotels, B&Bs, self-catering accommodation and hostels can reopen from today, as the gradual lifting of Covid-19 restrictions on the tourism and hospitality sector begins.

However, services including leisure facilities, as well as indoor restaurants and bars, are restricted to residents only.

Around 65,000 people were employed by hotels pre-pandemic, with 270,000 employed in the wider tourism industry.

Fáilte Ireland has estimated that the reopening of tourism and hospitality over the coming weeks will help inject an estimated €1bn extra into the economy over the next few months.

“There is now cause for cautious optimism as the roll-out of the vaccination programme gathers pace,” said Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin.

“The reopening of the tourism and hospitality sector represents a further important step in the Covid-19 Resilience and Recovery Plan.

“Accommodation and restaurants along with pubs and bars will be able to reopen their doors after this difficult period of enforced closure,” she said.

The minister added that she is acutely aware of the importance of international visitors.

The country will not begin reopening to non-essential visitors from overseas until 19 July.

Fáilte Ireland CEO Paul Kelly said: “The continued safe reopening of the tourism and hospitality sector in Ireland this week will provide a much needed boost to our national recovery.

“Our economic analysis states that domestic tourism experienced significant growth in 2020 when restrictions were lifted.”