Fermanagh South Tyrone Sinn Féin Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Tourism under threat from Brexit - Feely

Published: 24 May, 2017

Sinn Féin Councillor for Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, John Feely, highlights potential damaging effects of Brexit on the tourism industry.

Feely said:

"Tourism in the North currently generates £764m, attracts four and a half million visitors and sustains over 40,000 jobs. In Fermanagh we have seen great increases in the number of tourists visiting the county since the development of a number of sites such as the Cuilcagh Boardwalk.

"Facilitating travel is obviously a core concern for the industry. If people can't easily travel to the North then they simply won't come here.

"Initiatives such as the cross-border healthcare Directive, the Package Travel Directive, European Health Insurance cards and common consumer rights for people travelling across borders have all gone a long way towards encouraging tourism.

"As has visa-free travel for other EU nationals. Requiring EU visitors to go through extra checks at our airports and ports will require not only additional resources but also deter potential visitors. Brexit would also mean cutting ourselves off from agreements with non-EU countries around the world in terms of tourist visas.

"The tourism industry is a significant beneficiary of EU funding. The CAP environmental schemes are hugely important to rural tourism industries and by extension the rural economy.

"Tourism has been at the forefront of our economic recovery from the crash. It is so important that we achieve a Designated Special Status through Brexit negotiations or we risk irreversibly damaging this industry." ENDS