Budget 2021 included a number of substantial measures to support and strengthen the tourism sector and are supplemented by the economy-wide business supports and social welfare measures.
As part of the Budget package of measures, €55 million has been provided for Business Continuity Schemes for strategic tourism businesses to help them survive through the pandemic and be there to help drive the recovery. This funding will be administered by Fáilte Ireland and focused on those strategic businesses. In addition, the Budget provided for an additional €5m investment in training and support to businesses to improve their web and digital presence. Combined with the COVID Resilience Support Scheme (CRSS), the VAT cut and the rates waiver, the Government is helping to sustain businesses that have been most severely affected by the necessary public health restrictions.
The Tourism Recovery Taskforce, which reported to me in October, undertook a comprehensive analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on the sector and drew up a Recovery Plan containing over 30 recommendations across a number of areas designed to help the sector to survive and recover from the crisis out to 2023. Its short-term recommendations informed the sector-specific measures adopted in the Budget. To help inform the ongoing response to the pandemic, I will shortly appoint an Oversight Group which will monitor the implementation of the Recovery Plan as well as the recovery of the tourism sector in general.
With specific regard to inter-county travel and any plans to amend related restrictions, this is a matter for consideration by the Government and no decisions have yet been made in this regard.