For Oral Answer on : 20/01/2022
Question Number(s): 87 Question Reference(s): 2325/22
Department: Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Tourism; Culture; Arts; Gaeltacht; Sport and Media the uptake of support by county from the tourism business continuity scheme since its introduction; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
In Budget 2021, I secured €55 million for Fáilte Ireland’s Tourism Business Continuity Scheme and a further €50m in Budget 2022. Additionally in 2021, €10m was paid by Fáilte Ireland under the Coach Tourism Business Continuity Scheme and €10m under The Ireland Based Inbound Agents Business Continuity Scheme.
The purpose of the funding provided through the Tourism Business Continuity Scheme has been to support strategic tourism businesses to survive through the pandemic and help drive the recovery of tourism. There have been five phases of the Tourism Business Continuity Scheme in 2021 which ran from February to September. The various phases of the Scheme provided a direct financial contribution to support business continuity plans and contribute towards fixed costs.
Phase One supported businesses that were ineligible to receive the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) such as outdoor tourism activity providers, tourism golf courses, hop-on hop-off tourism bus tour operators, cruise hire companies, tourism boat tour operators, visitor attractions, and caravan and camping and outdoor accommodation providers. I am happy to confirm that that more than €7.6m was provided to 280 successful applicants in this phase.
Phase Two supported the tourism transport sector as it was deemed a strategically important sector that enables visitors to access the geographically dispersed Irish tourism offering. This Phase has seen grants amounting to over €13.3m awarded to 201 applicants.
Phase One Plus, which is the third Phase of the Scheme, is a continuation of the earlier Phase One. This phase supported certain tourism businesses that were ineligible or not included in Phase One, or who had missed the deadline. Under Phase One Plus €1.6m has been provided to 43 applicants.
Phases 4 and 5 of Fáilte Ireland’s Tourism Business Continuity Scheme closed for applications on Friday, 24 September. Phase 4 supported attractions and activity tourism operators with Phase 5 supporting Fáilte Ireland-approved tourism accommodation providers. Under Phase Four, €5.8m has been provide to 165 applicants. €24m has been provided to date under Phase 5 of the scheme with further payments to issue this month.
Fáilte Ireland recently announced their plans for the allocation in 2022 of €50million, provided in Budget 2022, for further phases of the Tourism Business Continuity Programme.
The first Scheme, the Strategic Tourism Transport Business Continuity Scheme 2022 was launched on the 11th January and aims to support the tourism transport sector. The strategic Ireland Based Inbound Agents scheme opened for applications on 12th January 2022. Further schemes under the Tourism Business Continuity Programme for Attractions and Activity Providers and Tourism Accommodation Providers will commence in March 2022.
The Deputy asked for a breakdown of the Tourism Business Continuity Scheme’s allocations and recipients by county. I have asked Fáilte Ireland to provide this information to the Deputy. Please contact my private office if you have not receive a response within ten working days.