The Irish Activities sector has said it is getting prepared to re-open, providing some badly needed physical and mental health benefits for the Irish people.
Ireland’s Association for Adventure Tourism (IAAT) is working with its members on re-opening within all public health guidelines, to safely deliver fantastic a range of incredible experiences. The association maintains that many outdoor activity businesses such as kayaking, surfing, horse-riding and hiking are perfectly positioned to deliver their experiences, with the activities taking place on our lakes, hills, mountains and in the sea. And while international tourists are not expected in great numbers for quite some time, the domestic market is expected to perform strongly with the public keen to confine the unprecedented lock-down period to the past.
Brendan Kenny, Chief Executive of IAAT said:
“As the country reopens, activity businesses can provide a great opportunity for many families or households to experience something new in our great outdoors – with all the physical and mental health benefits that being active brings. Under the current restrictions, we initially look forward to welcoming locals back to activity businesses with the full domestic market hopefully reopening in July. However, we do urgently need Government clarity on a number of fronts including confirmation on what tourism-specific funding will be made available. With most of the 2020 season already lost, many of our members are fighting to stay afloat into 2021 and our recent survey of over 180 activity businesses showed that over 62% will need funding to survive.
We also look forward to seeing our colleagues in other sectors such as restaurants, cafes, and accommodation providers re-opening so that both the domestic and international tourism markets can once again enjoy everything that this amazing country of ours has to offer. We are all in this together”
Maurice Whelan, Chairman of IAAT added:
“Irish adventure tourism can lead the way – both nationally and internationally – in dealing with the re-opening responsibly. We have always been a safe and healthy destination, and this will be to our advantage as we move through the Recovery. So I would urge the Irish public to get out there, engage your body and mind, all the while supporting local businesses. There are so many amazing experiences available right here in our own beautiful country.”
Eoghan O’Mara Walsh, Chief Executive of the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation also said:
“Adventure tourism is such an important product within the Irish tourism economy and by its nature it is in a great position to re-open and IAAT members can offer consumers a safe and exciting experience. Tourism is Ireland’s largest indigenous industry and biggest regional employer and ITIC has identified a 3 point plan for tourism recovery around the areas of business survival, liquidity measures and demand stimulation”.
IAAT is the independent representative association for the adventure tourism sector on the island of Ireland. This sector is one of the fastest growing and most exciting within Irish tourism and the IAAT aims to work with adventure tourism operators to develop the sector in a sustainable and responsible manner. The Association has now also frozen membership fees, insisting that now more than ever, it’s a time for collaboration and cohesive planning.