IAAT STATEMENT | 10th December 2020
CRSS: Let the Outdoors In!
Ireland’s Association for Adventure Tourism (IAAT) is today asking Government to include ALL outdoor activity businesses in the Covid Restriction Support Scheme (CRSS). The outdoor activity sector is considered a key driver to the recovery of Irish tourism in 2021 and beyond, a point highlighted in the Tourism Recovery Taskforce (TRT) report.
However, much of our sector has also been explicitly excluded from the CRSS scheme. Being extremely seasonal, these businesses have had little to no income in 2020, so we need Government support NOW if we are to survive and deliver that very same recovery proposed by the TRT.
IAAT Chief Executive Brendan Kenny said;
“Exclusion from the CRSS appears to be mostly due to businesses not delivering their actual business activity to customers on site at a fixed business premises. This criterion does not recognise the obvious and unique nature of outdoor activity providers – with the core trade often taking place at a lake, sea, hill, mountain or other terrain. Customers may still be met at a business premises OR at the point of the activity”.
He added: “The Covid-19 restrictions have made it virtually impossible for businesses to welcome customers with no cross-county travel and indeed international tourism being non-existent – key for much of the sector. While many operators do have a set business premises, it should also be recognised that most also have extensive costs outside of wages and fixed premises – including extortionate insurance, equipment, training & accreditation fees, loans, software, light & heat, marketing costs, and animal feed (for horse riding businesses).
IAAT Chairman Maurice Whelan added;
“The businesses in the sector are made up of a highly skilled and passionate workforce with over 7,500 employed throughout the country. That skilled workforce is not easily replaced, due to the extensive training and experience required to operate. Allowing these businesses to suffer – and possibly close as some have – makes the challenge of leading that recovery in Irish tourism all the more difficult. So we are now asking the Government to LET THE OUTDOORS IN!”
Founded in 2018 and now with over 250 members, the IAAT is the independent representative body for the activity/adventure tourism sector. It has been one of the fastest growing within Irish tourism and the IAAT aims to develop the sector in a sustainable and responsible manner. Member businesses offer outdoor education, horse riding, kayaking, surfing, hiking, mountain biking, rafting, stand up paddle boarding, adventure events, archery and much more.
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FOR FURTHER INFO:
Brendan Kenny – CEO, IAAT
Brendan.firstname.lastname@example.org / 087-9446625
Activity sector exclusion in the Revenue video at 21 minutes HERE.