‘Rip of Ireland’ a familiar term uttered by domestic holidaymakers. A repetition of negativity that focuses on price over value, and doesn't always compare like-for-like, is a growing concern for tourism providers in traditional busy tourist destinations. Tourism businesses in Ireland have been advised to plan on the basis that Irish holidaymakers will be their main source of revenue this year as the Covid-19 pandemic continues. Tourism has been at a near standstill due to restrictions on international travel. The near-term reduction will no doubt have some benefits on coastal ecosystems due to reduced pressure from activities such as boating and diving, as well as reductions in wastewater emissions from largely unoccupied coastal hotels and villages. But the socioeconomic impacts of dramatically reduced tourism activity on coastal tourism jobs and businesses are unprecedented and there are significant concerns regarding how the industry will recover in the medium and even longer term.
With staycation the only option for many, our coastal resorts and wilderness is expected to be thronged come the summer months. Providing an industry closed for nearly 9 months to reap benefits and overcharge due to demand; which will quick-trigger ‘Rip of Ireland’ outrage causing irreversible damage.
Tourism businesses have been advised to plan on the basis that Irish holidaymakers will be their main source of revenue this year as the Covid-19 pandemic continues. Increasingly, 2021 is looking like another year of the staycation, with Failte Ireland the national tourism body investing over €6 million to encourage the Irish tourist to ‘Keep Discovering’ Ireland, when the time is right. The Irish tourism offering will need to be “incredibly competitive” in quality and pricing. Much of this domestic Tourism will be along a coastal zone, be it the Wild Atlantic Way or along the Irish Sea Way. However, tourists are continually complaining about pricing and value in the Domestic tourism offering; this constant reference to over-pricing is at risk of doing reputational damage to an industry that desperately needs future overseas visitors to recoup 160,000 job losses. Operating a tourism business in Ireland is high, a long-term, sustainable, regenerative approach needs to be applied. We need to make our won domestic tourist ambassadors – and be proud to have holidayed in Ireland – thereby choosing to return and endorse, even all year round! Generations of people and families influence each other greatly.
Tourists all want the same this summer – the need for a well-earned holiday after numerous lockdowns due to COVID; yet the domestic sector needs these tourists to sing, shout and tweet ‘I want to holiday in Ireland again’. We don’t want them saying: ‘Never again’."
Picture courtesy of Pixabay – Cushendall Coast