By Paul O’Malley
Tourism providers in Mayo say the outbreak of Covid-19 is already having an impact on the industry in the country.
Hotels and restaurants are witnessing a number of cancellations amid uncertainty about travel in the coming months and representatives from tourist groups are urging people to support their local businesses now.
Anne-Marie Flynn, manager of Mayo North Promotions, said the knock-on effects of the outbreak have already hit North Mayo.
“Already we’re seeing a decline in pipeline business coming through to the region. We know there has been a number of long-term bookings cancelled on the basis that people don’t know if they’ll be able to fly or not and the knock-on effect is very concerning for our local businesses who have worked hard in recent years.”
Ms Flynn added that her office would be advising people to support their local businesses as there will be a strong reliance on the domestic market this year.
“Because there haven’t been restrictions on going out and socialising as of yet, we’re telling people to get out and support local businesses while at the same time, taking the necessary precautions. If you can buy a voucher or book an event for further down the line. It’s important to show confidence in the local economy.”
The Castle Late Night Venue in Westport announced it would close for the next two weeks.
Helen Gavin, president of the Westport Chamber, said the loss of tourism in Westport is a big blow.
“We don’t know what the scale of the impact will be or the measures that will be put in place so it is important we focus on the day-to-day. The chamber is keen to work with the government so businesses can manage the knock-on effects.”