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Irish tourism industry warns over impact of ‘Hard Brexit’

Written by Robert McHugh, on 27th Oct 2016. Posted in General

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The Brexit represents the biggest challenge to Irish tourism since the Global economic crash of 2008 according to the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC).
 
In a research note released today, ITIC has identified four key areas that need to be addressed within EU-UK negotiations in order to protect Irish tourism. These are - Border Concerns, Aviation Access, Regulatory Regimes and Cross-border Co-operation. 
 
ITIC argues that the Common Travel Area must be maintained and that should any border controls be imposed, to allow the UK to manage migration, these should be on the British mainland and not on the island of Ireland. 
 
Likewise, they warn that the preservation of the current aviation regulatory regime of open market access for airlines between Ireland and the UK is critical for tourism to prosper. 
 
In terms of the regulatory environment that is negotiated as part of any new EU-UK deal in the wake of Brexit, the tourism group’s research calls on the Government to be conscious of not disadvantaging tourism businesses in the Republic to the benefit of Northern Ireland.
 
ITIC stresses that tourism is Ireland’s largest indigenous sectoral employer providing 230,000 jobs nationwide. A hard Brexit – with border controls and restrictive rules on migration disruption of trade, investment and the regulatory environment – would be damaging to the tourism sector they have warned.
 
ITIC CEO, Eoghan O’Mara Walsh today commented, "Sterling has weakened by 18% since the vote in favour of leaving the EU. This means that British visitors now find Irish holidays 18% more expensive. The last two times that the exchange rate swung so dramatically between Ireland and the UK was 2008/9 during the global economic crash, and Black Wednesday in 1992 when the UK crashed out of the Exchange Rate Mechanism. It is critical at this time that the Irish tourism industry remains competitive and continues to offer good value for money." 
 
Source: www.businessworld.ie

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