The impact of “Brexit” on Irish Tourism

After the recent announcement that spend from UK visitors is up by 18% it comes as a disappointment that tourism in Ireland is thought to be one of the first sectors which will feel the impact of “Brexit” as the plunge in sterling will make trips to Ireland more expensive.

Additionally according to Tourism, economic uncertainty may result in people being more cautious about discretionary spending which could have a negative impact on British people planning a vacation in Ireland.

Also it will become much cheaper for Irish people to visit Britain as well as Northern Ireland meaning that less Irish could partake in a staycation at home this year.

Tourists visiting Ireland from the UK spent €33 million more between January and March 2016 compared to the same period in 2015 making the vast increase of 18%. The UK market accounted for four out of every 10 visitors to Ireland and this proportion has risen by ¼ since 2012. To ensure that this increase in both spend and visitors does not drastically fall Tourism Ireland has since stressed the importance of ensuring the common travel area between Ireland and the UK was kept in place.

And it’s not just restaurants in Dublin or across Ireland that are fearful,  the Restaurants Association of Ireland described the UK’s vote to leave the EU as a “huge blow” to Irish tourism.

Chief Executive Adrian Cummins said restaurateurs in the Border areas in particular were concerned with new arrangements and what they would entail post-Brexit. He stated that it would be imperative that the 9% VAT rate for tourism would be retained in the next budget and that a reduction in excise duty on alcohol would also help.

“The outcome of the UK vote has major implications for Irish tourism and the restaurant sector. It is imperative the Irish Government gives a clear signal on issues of major importance to the sector, our trading relationship with the UK and Northern Ireland and the EU budget.”

The Irish Hotels Federation said that it was too early to predict the full effect of the vote on tourism given the level of uncertainty around the future of the relationship between the two countries.

On a positive note, given that Ireland will now be the main English speaking country within the EU, Ireland could be the country of choice for US multi-nationals seeking to establish a European base. Currently it is estimated that Britain receives €35 billion of investments each year whereas its thought that Ireland receives €5 billion.


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