Ireland’s rural drinks and hospitality businesses are highly vulnerable to a hard or ‘no deal’ Brexit following a new report published today by the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI).
The report, National and Regional Employment in the Drinks and Hospitality Sectors, authored by DCU economist Anthony Foley, shows that drinks and hospitality businesses account for significant proportions of rural employment.
Rosemary Garth, communications and corporate affairs director, Irish Distillers' and Chair of DIGI, said that the new report clearly demonstrates the vital importance of the drinks and hospitality sector to rural Ireland, local employment and the economy in general.
“In many parts of rural Ireland, drinks, hospitality and tourism businesses are the primary and sometimes only employers. This makes these areas highly vulnerable to economic shocks, like Brexit,” said Garth.
Hard or No Brexit
The report highlights that an economic shock, like a hard or ‘no deal’ Brexit, could leave rural and regional Ireland vulnerable to job losses and business closures
Garth outlined that If a hard or no deal Brexit occurs and sterling devalues further, British tourists will look to save their money rather than spend it.
“That means fewer holidays and a smaller budget when they travel. Considering the British are our single biggest tourism market, this is a significant problem for rural areas that completely rely on foreign spend to power their local economy,” she added.
“Without a way to offset this decreased trade, some towns and villages could face business closures and job losses not unlike those of the recession.”
The umbrella group for drinks and hospitality businesses in Ireland said that the drinks industry, in its narrowest definition, directly and indirectly employs 90,000 people; when the wider hospitality sector is included, total employment is more than a quarter of a million.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.