THE MULTI-BILLION POUND bailout of the Irish banking system should not have a negative impact on business travel between the Republic and the UK, according to industry experts.
After the banks in Ireland warned they were on the verge of total collapse, the UK agreed to lend the Irish government £7bn as part of a £77bn loan from the EU and IMF.
Ireland is one of the UK's key trading partners, and a number of British companies and institutions rely on finance and credit from the Irish banking system.
Jonathan Wall, managing director of travel accountancy firm Elman Wall, was adamant the bailout would be positive for the business travel sector. "The bailout should help the economy as a whole, as the rescue has already happened - which keeps Ireland in business and executives travelling to and from it," he said.
"The amount contributed by the UK is unfortunate, but it is manageable."
Wall said Germany's role in relation to the weakest areas of the European trading area was of more concern in the long term.
"The real issue is that when Germany stops supporting weaker eurozone countries it will lead to the collapse of the euro."
Well placed to predict the impact of the bailout is Lisa Whelan, Carlson Wagonlit Travel's country manager in Ireland.
She said: "The financial situation could have a limited impact on business travel. The corporate tax rate remains [low compared to other EU states], so it is still attractive for overseas companies to base themselves in Ireland.
"The expectation is that the export-focused industries will continue to thrive and even grow, which indicates that business travel will still be buoyant from Ireland."
Also on the Emerald Isle is Dave Walsh, country manager Ireland for travel technology company, Travelport.
He acknowledged that the limping Irish economy, once known as the Celtic Tiger because of its consistently strong growth, was suffering difficult times, but insisted business and business travel was continuing to soldier on.
"Overall, companies have been managing the effects of the economic decline over the last two-and-a-half years and will continue to do so regardless of a potential bailout - and business travel is still vital to stimulate economic growth," he said.