Date: 9th April 2020
Caravan and Camping Parks seek urgent rescue package to keep their staff and businesses afloat.
The Irish Caravan & Camping Council (ICC) is seeking an urgent rescue package to keep the caravan, camping park sector afloat, as it has been decimated by the Covid-19 pandemic crisis.
There are currently 110 Caravan and Camping Parks with 6,668 pitches registered with Failte Ireland. The Caravan and Camping product represents an important component of the accommodation mix in Irish tourism, contributing €136 million to the economy. A staggering 90% of visitor expenditure comes to the regions, with the majority of caravan and camping businesses located outside of urban centres. This also provides jobs and allows the rural and coastal economy to flourish in all corners of the country.
The sector - which is extremely seasonal – has had to close its gates to early season business with job losses which has meant widespread cancellations and deferments but of far more concern is that if this crisis goes on into the summer most operators will be facing a bleak year and will struggle to keep their businesses afloat.
ICC Chairperson, Niamh Darcy stated that “it looks likely that Caravan & Camping businesses will lose the majority of their 2020 business income. Depending on how and when the lock-down ends, with the season lost we fear Caravan & Camping businesses will run out of cash and go under next winter, even if they survive that long and the virus threat is behind us.”
A recent survey conducted by the ICC on its members, found that more than 70% of Park businesses will not survive beyond 6 months and will be facing permanent closure.
More than 60% of Park businesses have laid off staff with 26% putting staff on the COVID-19 wage subsidy scheme and 22% will not take on seasonal staff this year.
Con Quill, CEO of The Irish Caravan & Camping Council states that “Government and financial support is required urgently now if Ireland is to have a Caravan & Camping industry still standing once the crisis passes. We are calling for
- A complete waive on local authority rates for 2020,
- Practical financial supports such as business recovery grants,
- A reduction in the rates of tourism VAT,
- Insurer commitment to the provision of business interruption cover and to put a pause on full policy payments even when a business has been closed by Government advice.
- Supports for seasonal workers in tourism who do not currently qualify for Covid-19 related payments.
Urgent action is required.”
Con Quill Mobile 086-8568085