Tourism in rural Ireland will be hit hard by the impact of Covid-19, Fáilte Ireland has warned.
Niall Tracey, director of marketing with Fáilte Ireland, was addressing a meeting of Mayo Co Council’s Tourism, Recreation, Food, and Community Engagement Strategic Policy Committee on Friday.
“It’s going to hit rural Ireland very badly because of tourism,” said Mr Tracey, adding that the outbreak will create a lot of challenges for the industry: “It is going to be a very difficult summer.”
Mr Tracey was at the meeting to deliver a presentation on a survey carried out which gauged the tourism experience in a number towns and areas on the Wild Atlantic Way, including north Mayo (from Belmullet to Ballina) and Clew Bay (from Achill to Westport Louisburgh).
The survey contained the views of foreign and domestic tourists and both areas scored ‘off the charts’ when respondents were asked if they would recommend a visit to others with 93 per cent of people stating they would recommend Clew Bay and 89 per cent willing to tell others about north Mayo.
“People loved their visit to Mayo,” said Mr Tracey, adding that Clew Bay and north Mayo scored very highly across all the criteria of the survey but north Mayo was among a number of areas around the country where evening entertainment (besides local bars) was lacking for some visitors.
There was a difference between the areas when it came to tourists knowledge about local attractions and their willingness to visit them with Clew Bay scoring highly but north Mayo less so.