The Oireachtas tourism committee have heard of the devastating impact the travel restrictions imposed as a result of Covid-19 are putting a huge pressure on the travel and tourism industry.
Industry representatives said spoken out on “perfect storm” that has left a major gap in Ireland’s economy.
Tourism Recovery Taskforce chairman Ruth Andrews said: “Tourism is the most important indigenous labour-intensive sector in Ireland and generates very substantial export earnings and tax revenues.
“It is woven into the fabric of Irish culture and social life and is of critical importance to regional economies in particular.
“Because tourism is so integrated into the economy and so diverse and overwhelmingly made up of SMEs, it has suffered from a lack of visibility and recognition as an internationally traded service.
“Covid has created a perfect storm for tourism.
“The requirement to trade in an environment requiring social distancing and limited gatherings, together with the fact that travel restrictions have meant that overseas tourism has virtually disappeared, is threatening the survival of a large part of the tourism ecosystem in Ireland.”
The severe travel restrictions mean very few international travellers have visited Ireland since March.
“We are in a very precarious place, many businesses will find it very difficult to survive.”