Ireland’s status as a favourable tourist destination could be derailed by a range of issues across the tourism and hospitality sectors according to Fine Gael MEP Colm Markey.
Massive queues at Dublin airport, alongside the colossal price of hotel accommodation and the eyewatering cost of car rentals all play their part in hampering the industry’s first normal season post COVID.
The Midlands-North-West MEP, who sits on the European Parliament’s Transport and Tourism committee (TRAN), said:
“Years of investment and clever marketing of Ireland’s beauty as a holiday destination could go down the drain if solutions are not quickly found for the plethora of issues currently facing the tourism sector. It is hard to convince people to choose Ireland for their summer holiday this year when we see the major issues at Dublin airport, plus the astronomical prices faced by tourists to book a hotel or rent a car.
All sectors faced severe difficulty during the last number of years due to COVID-related restrictions, but tourism was hit hardest. This summer presents a chance to make up for this difficult period, however that is now at risk.
A culture of staycationing was beginning to be fostered amongst Irish people during COVID however this is also in doubt due to the cost of hotel accommodation. We can’t blame Irish people for holidaying abroad where there are much cheaper accommodation options. Hotels were kept afloat with significant levels of taxpayer money during COVID, and they should reflect on this fact and adjust their prices accordingly.
There is one month until we reach peak tourism season, and solutions to these issues must be found as a matter of urgency.
I welcome the Government’s intervention in the Dublin Airport saga and acknowledge that similar problems have arisen across the EU.
I will be requesting to raise it at the European Parliament’s Tourism committee and will work to find solutions at EU-level.”