Thursday, 21 May 2020
Covid-19 (Taoiseach): Statements
Leo Varadkar (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Dublin West, Fine Gael)
I join the Deputy in welcoming the establishment of the tourism recovery task force, which is under the chairmanship of Ms Ruth Andrews, whom I worked with when I was the Minister responsible for tourism. I know she will do a really great job. I remember when I was Minister with responsibility for tourism many years ago, the sector was going through a very bad patch but recovered very quickly. It is an amazing and resilient industry and it can bounce back. It is the industry that was hit first and worst, and it will be hit for the longest time. It will need much Government support to get going again and I am determined that it will be put in place. It can really only happen when tourism is possible again. I am still optimistic that domestic tourism will be able to be resumed some time in July, with international tourism resuming later in the year. It will be a bad year but I hope something can be salvaged and 2021 can be a good year again.
As I understand the representation on the task force, nobody is there to represent a particular county, whether that is Dublin, Cork, Wexford or Donegal, and the people involved should not be thinking that way. This is a tourism recovery task force for the entire country and not one particular county.