Waiting until September to introduce a staycation subsidy will be "too little too late" for the Irish tourism sector, and will mean "little or nothing" to those with children who will not be able to holiday once schools return.
This is the view of Labour Galway City West councillor, Niall McNelis, who was reacting to reports that the subsidy expected to be announced as part of the July stimulus will not be introduced until September.
A total of 250,000 people are employed in the tourism sector, which , last year, was worth €9.4 billion to the economy. That figure is expected to drop by at least 75 per cent this year with very few foreign tourists expected to travel to Ireland.
“Tourism has experienced one of the highest levels of jobs losses due to Covid-19 with the complete loss of overseas travel and many businesses only reopening now," said Cllr McNelis. "We need a much more ambitious stimulus for the tourism sector that will adequately support jobs in the sector and put money back into people’s pockets."
Cllr McNelis said the details of what has been released so far have been "underwhelming and inadequate". The Labour Party is calling for a recovery package of at least €10 billion over two years to allow for a more comprehensive tourism stimulus. “Any tourism stimulus must take in the traditional peak summer season," he said, "and not just the off-peak ‘shoulder season’ of September and October."