STAYCATIONS THIS YEAR WILL MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE TO OUR HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY THAT NEEDS OUR HELP
BY MICHAEL MULCAHY
Our country and our world is a very different place to what is was in early March and with the vast majority of our hospitality businesses closed until phase three or four of the Government roadmap for reopening it has placed enormous pressure on a sector that had rebuilt itself well after the disastrous days of the last recession.
From all types of leisure facilities around our country to bars, restaurants and hotels and with the new social distancing guidelines as they are right now, the sector will need every bit of support that it can get this year as soon as the businesses reopen. Some valuable revenue elements of these businesses may have a slower start depending on further recommendations that are still awaited from Government. With overseas tourists most likely not coming to our shores in any great numbers this Summer we will need to depend on our own people to support the hundreds of thousands of jobs that depend on this industry here.
Depending on the regulations in different countries on quarantining for visitors and depending on the views of Irish people on whether they will choose to travel overseas this Summer or not, we should ask ourselves what can we do to help? The simple answer is that this year we could choose some type of a staycation, even if we are intent on going overseas at some point this Summer. A weekend break, a mid-week break or a week long break in places that many of might never have been to or in a place that we really like. Not alone can we stay in beautiful accommodation in every county but we can also avail of fantastic things to do, great places to visit and eat and much more if our weather holds up and many have predicted that it will. It is very clear that we will need to get behind this industry and show it our support this year and to do that the industry will need to get behind the people and incentivise them to come stay, come visit, come eat and come support them.
It’s a two way street in all of these things and there is no doubt that money will be tight at every level in our economy this year and most likely for the foreseeable future. This means that people intending on taking a staycation must not be discouraged by prices that are not reflective of where we are all at. Equally so businesses cannot lose money in opening their doors. I have no doubt that as a resourceful group of business people, there will be fantastic value on offer for people to visit, stay, eat and enjoy the incredible villages, towns and cities that we have all over our great country. Let’s try and all make the effort this Summer to do something to rebuild our tourism, leisure and hospitality industry that we are so proud of.