Irish Tourism Crisis
Grows Worse

Irish agriculture officials remove the remains of a culled animal close to the farm that had the first confirmed case of foot-and-mouth disease.

By Irish America Staff
June / July 2001

The Irish Tourist Board is working furiously to clear up misconceptions surrounding the foot-and-mouth crisis among potential tourists, engaging in an “assurance campaign” to convince the U.S. that Ireland is just as safe and attractive a destination as ever.

Jim McGuigan, executive vice president of the Irish Tourist Board in New York, explains that many Americans are confusing this epidemic, which only afflicts cloven-hoofed animals, with mad-cow disease, which humans can catch from eating tainted beef. Rumors that attractions in Ireland are being closed due to fear of the epidemic spreading has also deterred some tourists.

Orla Carey, Irish Tourist Board spokeswoman, in speculating on the impact the epidemic has had on Americans pointed out, “You have two things – one, they think, `If I go I’ll catch this,’ and two, `If I go there’s not going to be anything for me to do.’ Neither one of them are true. They can’t catch it and nobody is going to Ireland and not having enough to do.”

So far there has been only one confirmed case of foot-and-mouth in Ireland and more than ninety percent of the attractions are open for business.

The Sunday Business Post reported that the foot-and-mouth crisis could cost Ireland £500 million in lost revenue and 20,000 jobs in tourism, and Irish Tourism Minister Jim McDaid admitted that the industry was facing a major crisis. According to figures published by the Tourist Board, Americans make up 42% of bed nights in Irish hotels and spend close to 48% more than other tourists in Ireland. ♦

Leave a Reply




Share



More Articles

News from Ireland:
October / November 2019

The latest goings on. ℘℘℘ Ireland is particularly exposed to economic turbulence from a no-deal...

More

McAllister Can Stay for Now!

At the request of many prominent politicians, including senators Chuck Schumer and Lindsay Graham, Acting Department...

More

Kerrygold Sales
Exceed €1 Billion

Global sales of Kerrygold butter and dairy products have exceeded €1 billion in revenue per year, a first for an...

More

James Connolly Visitor
Centre Opens in Belfast

At a ceremony on Friday, April 19, President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins officially opened Áras Uí Chonghaile, the...

More