Tourism Ireland: Brexit will cut UK air capacity by 4%

Tourism Ireland is warning that Brexit will mean less Ireland-UK air capacity this summer.

Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland – the all-island agency responsible for marketing Ireland abroad – said figures were raising “concern” over Irish-UK capacity in the wake of the referendum result last year.

The research indicates Ireland will have 4% more airline seats to the island of Ireland this summer overall – but 4% fewer seats from Britain.

He told the Irish Times: “That is a concern no matter what way you look at it.”

He also warned over the future impact of recent cuts in Tourism Ireland’s budget for marketing Ireland as a tourism destination abroad.

“The budget has been cut 45% in recent years. We know that [because of this] our share of voice is declining internationally,” he added.

Gibbons was speaking ahead of the annual “greening” of global landmarks with green lights to celebrate St Patrick’s Day on March 17.

Tourism Ireland hopes up to 300 landmarks, such as South Africa’s Table Mountain and the Sydney Opera House, will go green this year.

There will also be new sites this year, such as the Kigali Convention Centre in Rwanda.

The “global greening” expenses for Tourism Ireland are generally less than €30,000 annually but it receives an estimated €10 million worth of international media coverage for Ireland.