Coach tourism body fears the latest halt on US travel will erode consumer confidence Stateside and render a key market inaccessible.
The CTTC (Coach Tourism and Transport Council of Ireland), which is Ireland's largest representative body for coach touring companies and private bus operators, has this week called on the Government to provide urgent clarity on its next steps, following the latest EU recommendations which encourage member states to remove US passengers from their travel ‘safe list’.
Coming in the wake of much speculation in recent days, the EU this week recommended that member states reintroduce travel restrictions on visitors from the US, a decision made on the basis of increasing Covid-19 rates there.
Given that the US is an important market for coach tourism operators, any decision to halt US-Ireland travel is likely to have a detrimental impact on a sector that has already been ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic and associated public health restrictions.
Speaking this week on the situation, Chairperson of the CTTC, John Halpenny said: "If implemented, these new guidelines will make it virtually impossible for US tourists to travel to Ireland, and will, in essence, block access to a key market for both the coach tourism and hospitality sectors - two industries which have borne the brunt of the economic damage inflicted by the Covid-19 pandemic”.
Through the provision of their services, coach tour operators contribute more than €400 million to the Irish economy, while supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs in retail, hospitality, and visitor experience – through the length and breadth of the country.
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