ITOA has issued the Association’s Budget 2022 Submission calling on Government to support the Inbound Tour Operating sector until recovery of international inbound tourism in summer 2022. The submission highlights the extremely challenging trading environment for its members since COVID 19 closed inbound tourism in March 2020. Given ITOA members reliance on international tourism, businesses have taken the greatest impact of the pandemic with a 95% drop in income. Rob Rankin, President of ITOA says; ‘ITOA members are resilient and have continued to promote Ireland virtually with their thousands of global trade contacts as well as continuing to work and contract with Irish tourism product suppliers. Government supports to date have contributed to business survival and recovery in 2022 is in sight; but there are 7 months over this autumn and winter with no income to bridge us to welcoming visitors back. With a small investment now of €10 Million IBIA funding for business continuity and EWSS remaining in place to June 2022 to help us retain our most vital asset – our highly skilled and experienced people – ITOA members can deliver the pipeline of business already on our books which is 60% of 2019 business levels. That means a return of €360 Million to the tourism economy and over 400,00 high value holiday makers and business tourists. We can deliver and our ask is that Government make that small final investment to ensure that we can’.
ITOA Budget Asks – Survival to Strengthen Tourism Recovery
- €10 Million Business Continuity funding for the delivery of an Irish-Based Inbound Agents (IBIA) business continuity scheme to be administered by Failte Ireland. 2021 has been an equally devastating year for ITOA members with only 5% of 2019 business realised.
- EWSS scheme to be retained to June 2022 at current level. Criteria should be reconsidered to support businesses most in need of this support i.e., those down 50% or more on 2019 turnover in 2021 to enable retention of staff and ensure a much faster business rebound in 2022.
- Extend the 9% tourism VAT rate to 2025 – a proven recovery measure introduced in 2011 for recovery post the financial crisis that provides a much-needed competitiveness and brings Ireland in line with 27 other EU States and competitor destinations
The Size Of The Total Inbound Tour Operator Prize – An Investment Worth Making
ITOA and partner inbound tourism associations AIPCO (Association of Irish Professional Conference Organisers) and IGTOA (Ireland Golf Tour Operator Association) represent Ireland’s 60 leading tour operators DMC’s, and Conference Organisers. These companies specialise in selling Ireland in the international marketplace. Every element of the Irish Tourism industry benefits from the packaged product they promote internationally. Collectively these companies deliver a strategic pipelines of high value leisure, golf and business tourism customers through extensive global travel trade networks and partnerships. These companies are vital to strengthening the pace of Irish Tourism’s future recovery as collectively:
- The pipeline of business deliverable in 2022 – 2024 is valued at €2.7 Billion, with visitor numbers of 1.77 Million
- Providing 1,057 direct jobs and supporting 24,838 jobs across the tourism sector
- With 5,500 international travel trade partners