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If international travel is put on hold … it’s going to put more debt on Ireland Inc. says Carlow man who heads up ITAA

A firmer timeline's due next week

Tourism figures say the industry is set to suffer another devastating summer.

It’s after the government signalled that international travel won’t resume until at least August.

Talk of the EU agreeing on a Covid vaccine cert by June had given hospitality firms some hope of salvaging the summer.

But they say this has largely been dashed after Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said it will be August “at the earliest” before holidays abroad resume.

CEO of B&B Ireland Helena Healy says this has come as a massive blow to her industry, noting “Summer’s a write-off for international travel, there’s no doubt about that, you know a ten-week window of staycation business doesn’t replace 12-month window of domestic business and international business”

And Carlow native Pat Dawson of the Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) says this means the state finances will take another hit, pointing out “If international travel is put on hold in Ireland that affects both ways, both inbound tourism and outbound tourism and certainly it’s going to put more debt on Ireland Inc.”.

But some people say it’s still too early to be going on holidays abroad.

Next week the government is expected to discuss a firmer timeline for when international travel will finally be able to come back.