Virgin Media TV presenter Muireann O’Connell has urged the nation to embrace the prospect of a going on holiday in Ireland this summer, as we look to emerge into a new normal after the Covid-19 pandemic. O’Connell returns to her native Limerick this week as VMTV serves up a day of shows to promote the TV station’s #BackingBusiness campaign.
The Six O’Clock Show host says the disappointment of not enjoying a holiday in the Mediterranean sun this summer can be replaced by some home comforts. With international tourism into Ireland hugely affected by the fall-out from the coronavirus pandemic, it is a chance for Irish holidaymakers to back hotels, B&Bs and house stays in Ireland.
“Overseas travel is really scary proposition at the moment,” O’Connell said. “I don’t think I will be getting on a flight any time soon, but there are so many amazing places to visit in this country and we can support our own tourism industry by going on a home holiday. People can go and see parts of their country they might never ever have visited.”
“There are so many vendors losing out on international revenue. The restaurants where tourists go are affected, the shops they visit are hit, the attractions they go to are impacted and with all of those businesses are suffering, we can be there to support them. You can get great bang for your buck if you shop locally and you can have an amazing holiday.”
Virgin Media’s #BackingBusiness campaign is a €1 million fund to boost Irish businesses nationwide, with free-to-air advertising being offered across its full schedule covering Virgin Media Channels One, Two and Three. It supports struggling hoteliers and restaurants in Irish tourism spots which would normally be packed at this time of year.
If everyone spends €20 extra in a local business, it could add €800m to the economy.