10th March 2020 -
The Northern Ireland Tourism Alliance industry summit, held at Titanic Belfast, heard results of a members’ survey indicating that 65% have experienced a loss in revenue and 42% have experienced a negative impact on cashflow with bigger losses forecast.
Following round table discussions delegates generated a comprehensive range of requirements they felt would support businesses and jobs through the current Covid-19 impact.
The vast majority of Tourism organisations said the need for employee support in sick pay and wage guarantees as well as legal advice around insurance and cancellations was a critical requirement from Government. For business continuity, relief on Business Rates and VAT payments were key immediate necessities.
Speaking after the meeting NITA Chief Executive Dr Joanne Stuart said,
“The potential seriousness of the situation cannot be exaggerated, but with strong leadership and decisive action taken now we can mitigate the economic impact and work towards a well-planned and speedy recovery strategy.
“Tourism is a £1bn contributor to the economy employing over 65,000 people, and we have a strong and resilient private sector that is determined to meet this situation head on.
“However, we cannot do it alone and we are expecting immediate tangible support from the UK Budget statement. We need clarity from the UK Government and the NI Executive with regard to the actions they are going to take with a timeframe that meets the urgent needs of the industry.
“Tourism is the most seriously affected business sector right now and the support given to support jobs and business continuity will reflect positively on the rest of the economy.”