Tough times for tourism trade as it absorbs coronavirus shock

In mid February, Carrick-on-Shannon hotelier Joe Dolan was preparing for the 2020 season ahead. The tourism sector, especially in Border areas such as Leitrim, had just dodged the bullet of a no deal Brexit and the Bush hotel owner was looking forward to some much-needed trading certainty.

By mid-March, he was mothballing the business and letting go his staff of more than 50 workers. With little warning, the Covid-19 crisis exploded like a bomb under the tourism sector, turning the 2020 season into a virtual write-off. Industry leaders say it will take several years to recover.

“March 15th, when I shut the hotel, was a heart wrenching day,” said Dolan, who is also a director of Failte Ireland, the national tourism authority. “My wish is that I can take back on every single one of my staff as soon as possible.”

Source: Irish Times