Mayo is now down a fifth of the visitor bed nights that had been available in the past, as the government has awarded contracts to hotels and others to accommodate asylum seekers and refugees.

This figure was revealed today by representatives of Failte Ireland to Mayo County Council’s  Special Policy Committee (SPC) on Tourism.

Edel Healy, Project Officer in Mayo for Failte Ireland, was responding to questions from committee members of what they all described as an alarming drop in bed nights available for tourists in Mayo this year and asked if there are specific figures available on the situation.

Edel explained that nationally the loss of tourist bed nights because of government contracts to hotels for alternative accommodation for refugees and asylum seekers is 13 percent, however in Mayo that figure is 21 percent.

Failte Ireland estimate that the revenue loss nationally as a result, is somewhere between 700 million euro and a billion euro.

She did not have figures on the specific loss to the local economy in Mayo this year due to the shortage of tourist beds available, but said that an audit of the situation in county Mayo is underway at present.

Committee members including local councillors and business representatives described the figures as astounding and detrimental to the local economy.

They called for urgent action to address the present situation before irreparable damage is caused to Mayo’s tourism product.



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