How Cork businesses are adapting to Covid-19

RTE TV show Open For Business heads to West Cork in the next episode, to see how mussels and duck companies are coping in the pandemic
How Cork businesses are adapting to Covid-19
A mussels farm in West Cork features in Open For Business on Tuesday

THE tourism industry has been decimated by the Covid-19 pandemic, and we hear how people in the sector across Ireland have been affected in the second episode of Open For Business on RTÉ1 at 7pm on Tuesday.

The series aims to show how various areas of Ireland’s business community are coping, struggling, and adapting to the new normal.

It is presented by Richard Curran and Ella McSweeney, and next week, we hear from a variety of hotel, restaurant, pub and tourism business owners in towns like Killarney and Kenmare.

The episode also heads to West Cork to see how companies there are faring.

Roaring Water Bay Rope Mussels were dependent on both tourists and exports, but with that market gone, it’s been the support of retail that has kept them afloat during these tough times.

Just down the road, Skeaghanore Duck Farm had to diversify their product range beyond ducks, and also built their online presence and the retail side of their business.

Meanwhile, up in Louth, Ballymakenny Farm outside Drogheda may be famed for its unique heritage potatoes, but with 100% of its produce going to restaurants pre-Covid, owner Maria Flynn had to get very inventive in order to keep the heart of her business beating.

With an 80% decline in international tourism numbers expected for 2020, the programme finds out whether this devastating loss might be balanced by Irish tourists staying put and instead spending their holidays and money at home .

Traditionally, more than 260,000 people in Ireland are employed in the tourism sector and the industry itself used to contribute €8 billion to the economy… until the virus hit.

Kerry is particularly feeling the pinch. Open For Business visits the county which once had the highest rate in Ireland of its workforce in the tourism and hospitality sectors.

With almost 20% of Kerry’s population once employed directly in tourism, the county is expected to lose €400 million in revenue this year.

We hear from a variety of hotel, restaurant, pub and tourism business owners across the towns of Killarney and Kenmare to see how they are adapting their businesses to cope with Covid concerns.

Plus, we see if holidaymakers, mostly Irish tourists, think it is relaxing to holiday with all the new guidelines and rules.

We hear from everyone, from hotel staff who miss welcoming their customers with a hug or a handshake, to an owner of the jaunting Carts — one of Killarney’s most traditional, iconic sights — about what they are having to do to keep their business on the road.

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