Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Ceisteanna (77)

Brendan Smith


77. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if specific assistance will be provided for the tourism and hospitality sector in the Border region due to the difficulties that will arise from Brexit and the heavy dependence of the region on business from Northern Ireland and the UK; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39877/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The Government's Brexit Contingency Action Plan Update was published on 9 July. It is the Government's assessment that there is a significant risk of a no deal Brexit on 31 October and accordingly work on no deal Brexit preparations continue to have the highest priority across Government Departments and Agencies.

There is a high degree of uncertainty in forecasting the macroeconomic impact of a no deal Brexit. However it is clear that the impacts would be very damaging. The Contingency Plan Update confirms that in parallel to the predicted macroeconomic impacts, a no deal Brexit will have severe negative effects in a number of sectors and will be widely felt on a regional basis. The impacts will be felt most notably in many exporting sectors including tourism.

In 2019 the Government allocated almost €8 million in additional funding to the tourism agencies specifically to respond to the impact of Brexit. Tourism Ireland has put in place a programme of marketing activity, post-Brexit research, and stakeholder information to ensure that potential visitors in relevant markets fully appreciate that it is "business as usual" for Ireland and the Irish tourism industry. It is also implementing a market strategy for growth in the British market.

Fáilte Ireland is supporting tourism enterprises to respond to the impact of Brexit. The ‘Get Brexit Ready’ programme is helping businesses to assess the risk and respond to changes and will also assist the sector in diversifying into other markets. Fáilte Ireland’s work is focusing primarily on border counties and the South East region which have been most adversely affected by the drop in the value of sterling.

The Budget allocation for 2020 is subject to the annual estimates discussions and my Department, in engaging with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, is highlighting the exposure of tourism to a no deal Brexit.