The reopening of more sections of the economy this week, including hotels, restaurants and campsites, has been marked by Fáilte Ireland with a major campaign encouraging people to holiday in this country this summer.

The 'Ireland - Make a Break For It' promotion follows recent research which suggests that 57% of the Irish public intend to go on a break within Ireland during the next six months.

The Government's advice on travelling abroad remains that non-essential foreign trips should be avoided, while Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan, has urged people to take "domestic" holidays this year.

The latest Fáilte Ireland campaign comes just 11 weeks after the initial travel restrictions were introduced, telling people not to go further than 2km from their homes except for necessary or urgent reasons.

This was eased to 5km three weeks later, then 20km and within our own counties, and this week all travel restrictions within the country were dropped.

In the southeast, the Visit Wexford tourism agency is encouraging people to take advantage of the many attractions and beauty spots in the area.

Wexford is part of Ireland's Ancient East and Fáilte Ireland's Aileen Dowling said it understood that people have concerns about where they go this year, but can be reassured by various safety measures.

Aileen Dowling of Fáilte Ireland

"We have launched our new Covid-19 safety charter, which all businesses can sign up to, and this will give consumers the confidence that a business is adhering to hygiene and safety protocols.

"Obviously businesses are having to look at their own premises in terms of the way they have laid out their own premises, and in terms of physical distancing, which is what the consumer is looking for, and also putting in place a lot of procedures around safety and hygiene because the consumer is looking to be reassured that where they are going to visit is going to be a safe place for them."

The last few months have been "very challenging" for the tourism sector, Ms Dowling added, but with more and more people hoping to take a break domestically this year, the hope is that consumers will follow through and make bookings.

Many different types of business in the tourism sector are part of visitwexford.ie, including hotels, heritage sites, leisure facilities, food outlets, and surf schools, such as The Surf Shack on Curracloe Beach, where Jack Tim Murphy said "a lot of work has been put in over the last few months to get open and to stay open," following a lot of worry.

"It was nice getting out to do a bit of maintenance work and that but we were itching to get open. I suppose the hardest thing is the uncertainty, because you'd make plans one week and something would change and you'd have to adapt again, but we always try to keep a really positive attitude about things."

Jack Tim Murphy of the Surf Shack

The school's service has actually improved because of various re-thinks imposed by the restrictions, he said, and now they're flourishing again, albeit with numbers down on previous years and staff down from 10-12 in other years to eight this time.

"There's been a great uptake, a lot of demand, and I think what we've seen in June, over the three weeks we've been open, is demand has been increasing every week and I think there's going to be a lot of people on the beach down here, looking for activities for the kids."


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