What are going to be the destinations’ priorities in the coming months?

How can they support one another during this global crisis? How are they dealing with the impact of Covid-19?

The purpose of “Feeling the Pulse” is to answer all these questions with the collection of regenerative stories and interviews of the GDS – Index Destinations. Last, our Changemaker Rebecca Johnson interviewed Fáilte Ireland‘s General Manager, Sam Johnston.

Here is the full interview.

If you feel more comfortable reading, you can find the interview’s summary below.


The Covid19 crisis kicked off in Ireland around mid-March, just before St. Patrick’s Day. As an agency, they consider themselves very fortunate to be part of the National Tourism authority in Ireland, Fáilte Ireland, so their responses could be nation-wide.

Fáilte Ireland’s recovery plan is divided into three phases.

PHASE 1 starts with a direct engagement with our industry and looks at

  • Business liquidity,
  • HR,
  • Risk,
  • Temporary layoffs,
  • Redundancies,
  • Management for temporary closures,
  • Safeguard for future revenues,
  • Business revenues and regeneration.

Its main purpose is to get the industry to phase 2 and make sure they have a critical mass of industry available. Around 6 webinars have been conducted.

PHASE 2 is what they are currently facing and is based on survival and preparation to re-open and re-launch, looking at jump-starting sales. They planned to do around 5 webinars.

PHASE 3 will focus on recovery planning and look at creating demands and help our industry to convert that demand.

Besides the three phases, there have been implementing other actions throughout the past couple of months.

Employee Well-being Support – available for anyone in the industry and divided in two programs:

  • Employee Assistance Program: a dedicated phone line where employees can speak to experts on any number of issues – health wellbeing, finance.
  • I am here: a program dedicated to the mental well being of employees.

Financial Support for Business Tourism

  • Dublin CVB – as they’re membership and partnership based, they waived all the 2020 fees;
  • Meet in Ireland – they have returned all the fees and, as traveling will probably become very expensive, they will create a fund to support the industry getting on the market again and to create demand;
  • Fáilte Ireland – they usually provide financial support to business events coming to Ireland, based on the number of international delegates. This year, most of this money won’t be used, so they have decided to use part of this cashflow to help DMO’s and CPO’s through this situation.

If you are a GDS-Index Destination and there are any good response initiatives to tackle the impacts of the pandemic that you have seen or participated in, please let us know so we can ensure you get an opportunity to share.