Concerns raised about lasting damage caused by Covid-19 restrictions and Ireland being an outlier in Europe

Monday, 5 October 2020

OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNMENT FROM 12 TRADE ASSOCIATIONS AND 429 INDIVIDUAL BUSINESSES IN IRELAND’S EXPERIENCE ECONOMY


Concerns raised about lasting damage caused by Covid-19 restrictions and Ireland being an outlier in Europe
    Businesses operating in the experience economy say they are being constrained disproportionately
    Experience sector employs more than 330,000 people directly and indirectly in Ireland
    Sector contributes €4.5 billion in wages, salaries and employment taxes every year
    12 Trade Associations and 429 individual businesses from Ireland’s experience sector have today written to the Taoiseach expressing significant concerns about the current Irish response to Covid-19, which is centred on restricting economic activity to a much greater extent than any other country in Europe, including full or partial closures of non-food pubs, and much harsher international travel restrictions than our European neighbours.

    The letter is co-signed by 216 hotels, 115 pubs and bars, 52 companies from the event sector or that supply the drinks and hospitality sector, 19 alcoholic drinks suppliers, 27 food and non-drinks suppliers and 12 trade associations on behalf of their entire membership.

    The companies that signed today’s letter together employ thousands of people in Ireland. Their impact reaches well beyond those who are directly employed, and touches every city, town, village and rural community, with a far-reaching supply chain.

    The letter says that many businesses operating in the experience economy are being constrained disproportionately. Alongside the enormous impact for the businesses in question, the consequences of overly restrictive measures will reach deep into the Irish economy. The current Irish approach risks not just short term, but long-lasting and irreparable damage to the economy and Irish society.

    In total, the experience sector contributes €4.5 billion in wages, salaries and employment taxes every year. More than 330,000 people are either employed directly or supported directly by demand from the sector.

    The letter urges the Government to look to best practice internationally and to countries that have managed to keep their experience economy sector open while at the same time taking clear and targeted approaches to controlling the spread of the disease in communities.

    It also calls for a much more targeted set of measures and supports for the sectors most impacted by COVID, and its restrictions.