Belfast Telegraph

Tourism fears over consumer uncertainty as Brexit affects plans

Research carried out by the all-Ireland body found that 10%-20% of UK tourists are thinking of postponing overseas trips, as a fall in the value of sterling and Brexit weighs on their spending plans. (Jonathan Brady/PA)
Research carried out by the all-Ireland body found that 10%-20% of UK tourists are thinking of postponing overseas trips, as a fall in the value of sterling and Brexit weighs on their spending plans. (Jonathan Brady/PA)

By Ellie Donnelly

Consumer uncertainty is the biggest risk facing the tourism sector, according to Tourism Ireland chief executive Niall Gibbons.

Research carried out by the all-Ireland body found that 10%-20% of UK tourists are thinking of postponing overseas trips, as a fall in the value of sterling and Brexit weighs on their spending plans.

Not only is the UK Ireland's biggest market for the tourism sector but, according to Mr Gibbons, two out of every five visits by UK tourists to the island happen in the traditionally quieter first and last quarters of the year, thereby helping to spread out the spending.

Regardless of the outcome of Brexit in just 21 days he said for Tourism Ireland, which markets the whole island overseas, "it will be business as usual".

"We will continue to receive funding and operate," Mr Gibbons said.

He added two-thirds of visitors to Northern Ireland are coming from the Republic as opposed to flying or sailing directly in.

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