By Paul O’Malley
The tourism sector in Westport is looking to quickly bounce back from the Covid-19 lockdown, especially if hotels are allowed to reopen on July 20 next.
However, the tourism town is facing an estimated loss of €80 million in 2020. Hotels in Westport reported a strong start to this year’s tourism season but the outbreak of Covid-19 has had a devastating impact.
Ciara Joyce, Sales and Marketing Manager with Westport Hotel Group, said hotels and other businesses are now looking to recoup what they can from the remainder of the summer season once they are allowed to reopen but will face great challenges with the loss of the overseas market.
“Once we have a better idea of what’s allowed in terms of hotel occupancy, we will be in a position to plan and recoup what we can from the remainder of the summer season.
“In the meantime, all of the individual hotels are actively promoting to their current customers with their own marketing campaigns.”
“Since the hotels started to advertise re-opening there has been a strong surge in bookings. It is entirely from the domestic market and they are from all over Ireland, although it must be noted all of the hotels have lost all of their group international business for now and this currently leaves a large gap to fill.”
Ms Joyce said there will be a significant investment in promoting the town on print, PR and social media campaigns.
She added the tourism business in Westport will continue to face challenges coming into the winter season.
“Much of the business coming into Westport during the winter season is the Active Age market.
“As this market is quite uncertain at the moment, we will need to look at innovative ways to attract other sectors.”