Covid-19: ‘Survival’ scheme to be established for tourism sector

Catherine Martin will also confirm basic income for arts sector is being explored

A ‘survival, stabilisation and recovery’ programme is to be established for the tourism sector, Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin will tell an Oireachtas committee. File photograph: Kate Geraghty/The Irish Times

A ‘survival, stabilisation and recovery’ programme is to be established for the tourism sector, Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin will tell an Oireachtas committee. File photograph: Kate Geraghty/The Irish Times

 

A “survival, stabilisation and recovery” programme is to be established for the tourism sector, Minister for Tourism, Culture and Arts Catherine Martin will tell an Oireachtas committee on Tuesday.

Tourism and culture were two of the areas of the economy worst hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, and Ms Martin has said that “bespoke sectoral supports” are required to ensure their recovery.

In her opening statement on Tuesday to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht, she will say she intended to develop a national tourism policy to develop tourism that was “socially and economically sustainable and that ensures that sustainability is at the heart of the recovery in the sector”.

This policy would be underpinned by capital investment. “This investment programme will take a regions-led approach and will include investments in activity-based tourism and the development of strategic tourism locations,” she will say. “As well as investing in our tourism product, these investments will provide important supports for local enterprise and employment, often in locations where tourism is a key driver of the local economy.”

Arts recommendations

Separately, an arts and culture recovery taskforce had outlined recommendations for those sectors in its “Life Worth Living” report submitted last year, she will say.

While some of the recommended measures were already being implemented, such as the outdoor public space scheme, an oversight group would begin meeting next week to oversee its remaining recommendations, she will say.

In relation to a mooted three-year basic-income pilot scheme for the arts sector, Ms Martin will say she would “continue to explore the opportunities of such a trial with my colleagues in Government”.

The measure would make “a strong statement about the value that we place on the arts sector, which is characterised by low, precarious and sometimes seasonal income”, she will say. “Artistic and creative work is intrinsically valuable to society, perhaps never more so felt than during this crisis pandemic.”

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