Whilst recent political developments in the UK mean that a no-deal Brexit is now less likely, this does not mean that Brexit no longer poses a threat to the tourism sector here. The measures I have taken to ensure that Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland are equipped to address issues arising for tourism from Brexit have helped to mitigate any negative impacts to date.
In 2019, the Government allocated almost €8 million in additional funding to the tourism agencies specifically to respond to the impact of Brexit. Key elements of the budgetary response involved temporary, targeted funding for the sectors most affected, including the Border region. Furthermore, additional Government supplementary funding of €7 million has been provided to the agencies at the end of 2019, primarily to support accelerated tourism marketing initiatives aimed at mitigating the impacts of Brexit.
In Budget 2020, I secured an allocation of almost €186 million for tourism, up 10% (over €17m) on the 2019 allocation. This will help to ensure that the agencies remain equipped to deal with the challenges caused by Brexit as the situation evolves, particularly in those regions most exposed.