Minister statement on support for Travel Sector

6 April 2020

Published: 6 April 2020 From: Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport – Minister statement on support for Travel Sector

The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, has instructed his department to finalise proposals that will help to alleviate the financial pressures that are now impacting on the travel sector in Ireland, affecting Irish licenced travel agents and tour operators. In these exceptional times, the Minister is focused on getting help to the travel and tourism sector to protect jobs and good businesses.

The Minister fully appreciates the particular financial difficulties being experienced by travel agents and tour operators from the unprecedented level of cancellations and the challenge for those companies in securing cash refunds from suppliers to pass onto their customers. The Minister and his colleague the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, have already written to the EU Commission on this matter, and they are confident that the matter is being actively worked on at that level. Some Member State have already taken their own steps, but a much better solution lies in a co-ordinated approach across all Member States.

Options under consideration include, as a temporary measure, the use of vouchers or some form of credit note for customer refunds in a way that does not materially erode consumer rights. The challenge is in finding a fair and commensurate response to what is a unique set of circumstances.

This is an urgent matter that requires a speedy response, and the Minister will work closely with his Cabinet colleagues to find workable solutions as quickly as possible.