Tourism in Ireland is in “recovery”…..
From a tour guide’s perspective, tourism in Ireland is in “recovery” from the covid pandemic.
“Remoaners” in the UK try to blame pubs and restaurants being closed, inflation and just about anything else on BREXIT whereas this is simply not true.
Visiting Ireland and talking to people here, and to tourists from Australia, USA and Canada, we all seem to have the same problem. Businesses in the hospitality sector, cannot get staff and that’s from Chefs to flight crew on the aircraft that feed those industries here and abroad.
My experience in Ireland is that tourists have not returned in anything like the numbers pre-covid. Granted there are some Americans around here and there but, of course, few signs of an oriental face and hardly any European car number-plates.
I can reference Westport, Mayo, as an example – not easy to find a restaurant open on a Monday or Tuesday night. Often pubs only open for four days. Pubs and restaurants closed at weekends – potentially when they should be at their busiest, because they can’t get the staff!
Most in the business seem to be of the view that staff in hospitality were either fired back in March 2020 or were furloughed or something similar. Many of these people have “up-skilled” and moved to jobs in other sectors where the pay and working hours are better and, yes, some foreign workers have returned home.
I would say that the situation in Ireland is comparable with the UK – limited opening of establishments and less Eastern European accents heard.
Another downside possibly effecting the number of tourists travelling is the cost of hotel accommodation. Owners seem to be charging silly money even for the most modest rooms – I am assuming in some effort to make up what they have lost? Sadly, probably not the right approach. For instance 100 euro for a “hotel” with no reception, no restaurant, no breakfast, and just one power-point in the room is having a laugh??
But arguably there is an upside – certain tourist destinations are less frantic with hoards of people. I reference “The Ring Of Kerry” in south west Ireland. Stunningly beautiful but, prior to my visit this year, rammed with tourist in tour buses which can make the whole experience utterly miserable. When I was there a few days ago I only saw two or three tour buses and, literally, I might pass another car coming in the other direction every three of four minutes. Astonishing? But not for the business owners.
Anyway, I am returning with Customers in September so let’s see how things may have changed then?
Fat man, Tiny Bike, Roams Ireland !