Chauffeur operators need support from government for their survival

A Sligo-based coach and chauffeur operator says there are businesses that will not survive until next year when it’s hoped the number of tourists and visitors from abroad might increase.

Chauffeur drivers, many of whom bring tourists in smaller vehicles such as cars and minibuses to often rural areas, have been badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.

And it’s not only the drivers who are affected; cafes, pubs, craft shops and souvenir outlets in areas they drive to with visitors are also suffering from the clampdown on international travel.

The plight of this section of the tourism industry was highlighted yesterday by members of the Western Chauffeur Drive Association, who drove along the Wild Atlantic Way from Killarney to Donegal.

At various points, they met local politicians and pressed their case for government help.

One of their stops was at Drumcliffe in north SLigo, where Shane Furey, of Sligo Coaches, had this message when he spoke to Ocean FM News: