IWIF MEDIA STATEMENT

18th March 2020

INDUSTRY SALVAGE MEASURES ANNOUNCED BY MINISTERS IS FAR SHORT OF APPROPRIATE RESPONSE

The Irish Government Should Commit Robustly and Immediately to Ensure the Irish Weddings Industry is not Entirely Annihilated

Statement from Shane McGrath, President of the Irish Wedding Industry Federation:

The IWIF has welcomed the early response and delivery of initial measures announced by the Irish Minister for Finance today. These measures, however, are desperately inadequate, even as a short-term measure, and will fail to engage the compelling and devastating threat to the future of the Irish Weddings Industry.

Public health concerns are a priority for the IWIF but as a distinct business sector we must, with government support, implement and manage a preservation plan for the industry as a whole. It is possible to salvage a large percentage of the value of the Irish wedding industry but it will require direct-investment from the government and the department of finance, and not just in the provision of emergency payments to workers and businesses but also via investment in industry representative organisations.

Critical financial and human investment is required right now to preserve the weddings industry – a vital part of the Irish tourism and hospitality economy. Cash-flow has been wiped out for businesses in the Irish weddings industry. This is an industry killer. Businesses of various scales will fold. The weddings industry is the key contributor to other sectors and includes contributions from professional operators in the following areas:

  • Hotel Venues
  • Castle Venues
  • Other Venues
  • Wedding Planners
  • Wedding Insurance
  • Restaurant Sector
  • Other Accommodation and Guest-house Sector
  • Ceremony Venues
  • Celebrants
  • Entertainers
  • Music Providers and Bands
  • DJs
  • Ceremony Musicians
  • Pre-Dinner Musicians
  • Photographers
  • Videographers
  • Bridal Shops
  • Menswear and Tailors
  • Fashion and Accessories
  • Hair Stylists
  • Beauty and Make-Up Professionals
  • Catering Providers
  • Other Entertainment Services
  • Photo Booth and Alternate Photography services
  • Event Styling and Decor Hire
  • Honeymoon
  • Jewellers
  • Transport Hire Companies
  • Wedding Cake and Confectionary Suppliers
  • Unique Food and Wine Providers
  • Hen and Stag Providers and Suppliers
  • Honeymoon and Travel Companies
  • ….many more not included…

Cash flow is the killer of wedding businesses in crises like this. The IWIF has called on An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar and Minister for Finance, Paschal Brennan to implement measures that will assist businesses with the current cash-flow crisis. We have also requested the reduction of VAT and PRSI rates, and/or deferral systems established for these payments. We also request that a waiver of local authority rates is immediately implemented and upheld until this crisis is over. The introduction of direct business assistance including funding and marketing supports will also help to preserve the value of the weddings industry.

Ministers Shane Ross and Brendan Griffin at The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport have recognised the wide catastrophe facing the wedding events industry but have yet to acknowledge the critical influence that this crisis will contribute to the demise of the hospitality sector as a whole. The IWIF asks that the Irish Government for a strategic agreement for immediate support that will have calm cash flow stresses for businesses.

The weddings sector at a glance:

  • 26,000 wedding events each year
  • 17,000 day-two events each year
  • €750 million direct spend from organisers
  • €1.75 billion indirect contribution to the economy
  • The weddings industry accounts for 1% of GNP
  • Total revenue of €2.5 billion in 2019
  • Weddings Industry employs 45,000 directly
  • 9000 new jobs created since 2010
  • Largest ancillary industry contributing to and industry of 62,897 hotel and guesthouse bedrooms in Ireland (2019)

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Media Queries:

Shane McGrath / Conor O’Byrne.          0877888600 / 0870977451