In line with the recommendation in the Tourism Recovery Plan, a Recovery Oversight Group was appointed in December 2020. The purpose of the Group is to oversee the implementation of the Recovery Plan produced by the Tourism Recovery Taskforce and monitor the sector’s recovery from the COVID crisis.
The Recovery Oversight Group is made up of an independent chairperson and 8 other members with a broad spectrum of backgrounds who were selected on the basis of each person's capacity to bring his/her personal knowledge, skills, experience, competence, capability, strategic leadership and ideas to the work of the group. I appointed individuals who, together, will work for the good of Irish tourism as a whole. No specific sector was deliberately included and likewise, no specific sector was deliberately excluded. A recovery in the tourism sector will be beneficial for all businesses which depend on the sector, including pubs and restaurants.
In October 2020, I, together with the Tánaiste, Minister Varadkar, established a Hospitality and Tourism Forum to provide a platform for structured engagement between the Hospitality and Tourism sector, the tourism agencies and relevant Government Departments in light of the COVID crisis. Its purpose is to allow key issues of relevance to the sectors to be discussed, with a view to identifying practical actions which could be taken by government (national or local), or by industry itself, to support the sectors. The Forum enables the Tánaiste and I to engage with a wide spectrum of industry stakeholders in order to assess the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, to help improve understanding and responses to the crisis and to discuss ideas for recovery measures, thus assisting the Government in formulating its on-going response to the crisis. The forum has met three times to date i.e. in October 2020, December 2020 and March 2021 and is hugely beneficial in helping me to understand the particular concerns of each sector within tourism and hospitality. The next meeting of this forum is scheduled for 2nd June.
Representatives from the Hospitality and Tourism sectors on the Forum include:
- Irish Hotels Federation
- Restaurants Association of Ireland
- Vintners Federation of Ireland
- Licensed Vintners Association
- Drinks Ireland
- Association of Irish Professional Conference Organisers
- B&B Ireland
- Event Industry Ireland
- Irish Self Catering Federation
- Irish Tourism Industry Confederation
- Incoming Tour Operators Association
- Coach Tourism & Transport Council of Ireland
- Association for the Visitor Experience and Attractions
- Irish Congress of Trade Union