It was no surprise really to read recent comments by Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, about the group’s focus on 2020, especially in light of the Covid-19 outbreak and the Irish government’s move to completely shut down the country to save lives.
Gibbons said the virus was “having a significant impact on travel and presents an unprecedented and extremely serious situation for Irish tourism. 2020 was already going to be a challenging year, with issues like Brexit and the delayed delivery of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft; Covid-19 is an extremely serious development which is affecting all of our key source markets.
“We are in daily contact with our tourism industry partners and we know that they are reporting significant cancellations and very few new bookings. We continue to monitor the situation closely and are reviewing our promotional activity on a market by market basis and on a daily basis. Tourism Ireland will be ready to roll out an extensive kick-start program, when the time is right.”
If there is a bright light at the end of a seemingly endless and very dark tunnel, it’s that the Irish are a resilient lot and nothing much holds them down for long. As soon as it’s safe for residents and visitors, we know the gates will be swung wide open and tourism will be off and running.
In the meantime, think about all that Ireland has always had to offer and plan your next trip. You’ll receive a warm welcome – perhaps even a warmer welcome that usual since so many attractions, hotels, B&Bs, shops and others depend on tourism.
In the meantime, stay safe and healthy and we look forward to an end to the virus and a return to normality here and in Ireland and across the world.
Visitors to the west of Ireland can enjoy a vigorous climb to the top of Croagh Patrick passing this statue of St. Patrick on the way up. (Judy Enright photo)
Ireland is a great place to track down the fantastic tales of pirates and their conquests on the high seas. One of the most interesting pirates was the Pirate Queen, Granuaille, who has been the subject of a number of books. One of her homes - Kildavnet Castle - is on Achill Island in Co. Mayo. (Judy Enright photo)