The Oireachtas Tourism Committee has heard about the damaging effects of travel restrictions caused by the tourism industry’s use of Covid-19.
Industry officials said they were talking about a “perfect storm” that has left a huge vacuum in the Irish economy.
Ruth Andrews, Chair of the Tourism Rehabilitation Task Force, said: “Tourism is the main local labor-intensive sector in Ireland and generates very significant export and tax revenues.
‘It is embedded in Ireland’s cultural fabric and social life and is of great importance to the regional economy.
“Because tourism is so integrated into the economy and so diverse and composed mostly of SMEs, it suffers from a lack of visibility and recognition as an internationally traded service.
“Covid is creating an ideal storm for tourism.
“The need to trade in an environment requiring limited social distancing and gatherings, and the fact that travel restrictions are causing overseas tourism to almost disappear, threatens the survival of a large part of Ireland’s tourism ecosystem.”
Due to strict travel restrictions, very few international travelers have visited Ireland since March.
“We are in a very unsafe place. Many companies will struggle to survive.”