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Support for hospitality after reopening ‘absolutely critical’


North Mayo Tourism manager welcomes caution but flags industry’s ongoing plight

Oisín McGovern

THE manager of North Mayo Tourism has said it is vital that Government supports for the hospitality industry remain in place after the sector reopens.
While welcoming the recent announcement that the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series would be hosted in north Mayo, Anne Marie Flynn told The Mayo News that the industry will still require Government support in the near future.
“I think it’s absolutely critical that the Government maintains that level of support, and that if it’s phased out, that it’s phased out gradually,” she said.
“They have committed to [continuing the support] but they haven’t gone into detail on it. Tourism and hospitality are the industries that tend to bail Ireland out every time something goes wrong. They’ve already shown how well that they’ve adapted, and they need to stop being taken for granted by the Government. The Government needs to maintain that support for the industry.”

Bookings strong
Ms Flynn said she is confident that the gradual reopening of hospitality after several months of lockdown will allow the industry to remain open.
“Hotel bookings are looking really strong for the summer. I think, in terms of the pace of the reopening, the Government is trying to ensure that once businesses reopen that they can stay open.
“They can’t cope with another lockdown. I know it can be frustrating for the restaurants… but I think the Government is trying to play it safe.
“I’m very confident about the season ahead and that by early autumn things will be back to normal. The sooner they can get reopen the better, but if they reopen too soon and things go wrong, that could be an absolute disaster.”  
Local representative Cllr Jarlath Munnelly said that the hosting of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in September would provide a big boost to the local hospitality industry.
“It’s coming at an interesting time at the end of summer, so it’s a boost for a slightly off-peak time,” said the Killala-based county councillor.
“The media attention it will bring will have consequences for the next year and the following year as well. It might give people confidence to develop the tourism product in the area,” he added.