The very strict visa regulations that Ireland are enforcing is having a strong effect on what tourists can and can’t travel to the country. Certain nationalities are being encouraged not to bother trying to visit the country including India, China and Russia.
The chief of the Coach Tourism and Transport Council Gerry Mullins said, “Effectively, we tell them to go away, and spend their money in some other country.” He explained this list of rules that needed to be followed when applying for visa clearance such as being able to prove that you have the finance for a visit to Ireland and a letter from your employer indicating that you intend to return to your home country. The reason this is directed at specific nationalities is because they have been highlighted as the main threat of illegal immigration.
Gerry Mullins believes that the process is quite ridiculous for those who do actually want to visit the country saying, “imagine booking a room in a Dublin hotel, then asking the receptionist if the hotel would forward a letter saying they will support you during your visit?” He doesn’t see why people would continue to visit Ireland from such countries anymore and it would result in a major loss of tourism.
Those dependent on tourism do believe that it will bounce back and after a Fáilte Ireland review two thirds of business believe 2010 will be a prosperous year. The industry itself intends to create more attractions and offer discounts to pensioners who visit to help boost numbers also.