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*Pat Dowling. Photograph: John Mangan

Clare’s hospitality and tourism industries will once again be reliant on staycations to aid a revival this year in what is going to be another “very difficult year”.

Hospitality providers have witnessed their international market completely decimate over the past ten months.

Chief Executive of Clare County Council, Pat Dowling updated elected representatives on a briefing he held with Fáilte Ireland officials last week.

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He outlined that the national tourism development authority does not envisage any tourism and hospitality sites reopening in the first quarter of 2021 with the potential of some “domestic reopening” in quarter two “which would mean we’re halfway into the year. If you accept that thesis you will be saying goodbye to elements of that industry”.

Fáilte Ireland chiefs have discussed the possibility of some elements of international travel returning by the third quarter of 2021 with mass gatherings an aspiration for the final quarter of the year. “The one difficulty with the precarious situation we are is the inability to predict the future,” Dowling cautioned.

Current strategies in development by Fáilte Ireland are focused on what the tourism industry will be like into the future, he added.

Staycations once again “will be very important for the revival” of the tourism industry this year, the Chief Executive commented. Plans will focus on outdoor recreation and reducing carbon footprint when it comes to tourism. “We are looking at another very difficult year for the tourism sector,” he concluded.

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