Economy Minister Diane Dodds confirmed today that as the tourism industry emerges from Covid-19 lockdown, it will focus initially on attracting domestic business before targeting international markets.
During the Stormont Coronavirus briefing, the Minister expressed her belief that the tourism industry could adapt successfully to the new circumstances brought about by the virus.
Minister Dodds said: “In line with the Executive’s five-stage plan to come out of lockdown, we are taking steps now to help the economy recover as a whole. This is being done gradually and in stages. Tourism has a vital role to play in this. Tourism recovery will in the first instance begin at home, then focus on close to home markets such as the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain before venturing into international markets.”
The Minister previously announced that, provided the rate of transmission of Covid-19 is not too high, the target dates for re-opening tourist accommodation will be:
20 July 2020 – holiday and home parks; caravan sites; self-catering properties. As they are self-contained and may require less advance notice before opening, the opening times for these types of accommodation may be advanced to earlier than 20 July depending on scientific advice;
20 July 2020 – guesthouses; guest accommodation; B&Bs; hotels; hostels. The Tourism Steering Group will be asked to work with the sector to explore what facilities and amenities can safely be made available by hotels and recommendations will be brought to the Executive in due course.
She added: “I must stress that this date is conditional on controlling the rate of transmission of the virus. That is why it is as important now as it has ever been for everyone to continue to follow the public health advice.”