Although also tourism providers have been able to avail of much needed supports during the Covid-19 pandemic, outdoor tourism providers have been “forgotten”.
Cllr Justin Warnock highlighted the plight of outdoor tourism providers in Leitrim at the recent Manorhamilton Municipal District meeting.
He noted that “without some form of financial assistance, many of these family run businesses will not survive”
Cllr Warnock asked that the Municipal District write to the Minister for Finance Pascal Donohoe TD and to the Minister for Tourism, Catherine Martin TD “to immediately include outdoor tourism activity providers in the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS).
“In this Municipal District, there are many small family run businesses involved in the adventure and outdoor pursuits tourism sector,” noted Cllr Warnock.
He said these businesses have been “left behind” in the provision of much needed supports for tourism based enterprises.
“They won't survive unless something is done to help them,” noted the Fianna Fáil councillor.
“Unfortunately when the government was looking after the bigger hotels and other tourism businesses, they sidelined this group of individuals. It is vital that those providing adventure and outdoor pursuit activities in Leitrim and elsewhere, are properly supported.
“These are important parts of our tourism package, especially with the promotion of Slow Adventure Tourism in the county.”
Independent councillor, Felim Gurn, added his support for the motion describing the exclusion of this tourism sector from supports as an “anomaly”.
“I have to ask, will there even be a tourism sector here come June or July as a result of what we have seen happening over the last 12 months?” he asked.
He said that the Government has to revisit the criteria specific assistance such as the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS), which was introduced in last October's Budget.
This scheme is the focus for a growing number of complaints from business groups who point out that the criteria excludes some firms which desperately need financial supports if they are to survive.
Cllr Warnock's motion received unanimous support. The Council will now write to the Ministers for Finance and for Tourism is a bid to secure supports for outdoor tourism providers.