The Minister for State at the Department of Transport Hildegarde Naughton T.D. has today welcomed the allocation of €10m in the revised estimates for 2022 to provide support for Licenced Outbound Travel Agents and Tour Operators.
Commenting on the publication of the revised estimates, Minister Naughton said: “I am pleased to welcome this allocation of €10m to assist the sector, which has suffered significant ongoing disruption to its business during the pandemic.”
Minister Naughton continued: “The sector which comprises of mostly small, and family run businesses, has remained open throughout the crisis in support of its customer base. While various horizontal Government business supports have assisted this sector, I am pleased to have secured this targeted funding for the sector which has a strong affiliation and is a reliable source of bookings and revenue for airlines. The trade generated via licensed outbound travel agents and tour operators is a factor in generating demand for air service connectivity between Ireland and overseas markets.”
Welcoming the announcement Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath T.D. said “Irish consumers have consistently shown their confidence in licenced travel agencies to provide them with secure, quality leisure and business trips abroad. The sector has been one of the hardest hit by the impact of the pandemic with a recovery that has been much slower than other parts of the economy.
“As a provider of employment on a nationwide basis, I believe it is important that we give travel agents the opportunity to fully participate in the upturn in [long haul] international travel when it occurs. The €10 million funding that has been set aside in the Revised Estimates Volume 2022 will go a long way to ensuring the future viability of the sector and I look forward to travel agents continuing to serve the Irish public to the high standards to which they are accustomed.”
The funding allocation will be used to assist Travel Agents and Tour Operators licensed by the Commission for Aviation Regulation with non-pay business costs in the period to end April 2022. It is expected that the funding scheme will open for applications in January 2022. Minister Naughton will announce further details of the scheme in the coming weeks.
Notes to the Editor
The outbound licensed travel trade sector in Ireland comprises over 165 enterprises licensed by the Commission for Aviation Regulation as tour operators and travel agents under Section 6 of the Transport (Tour Operators and Travel Agents) Act 1982 to sell overseas travel and package holidays out of Ireland. The sector consists principally of micro-enterprises providing well-distributed local employment across the country. In 2019 the sector reported a turnover of €1.4bn and employed over 3,500.
Although the primary focus of the sector is leisure travel it is also an important provider of business-to-business travel services for many corporate, including Government clients based in Ireland particularly those reliant on export markets.
Source: Department of Transport issued press release