Ireland faces losses of up to €800 million without international visitors next year.
The Incoming Tour Operators Association say up to 23,500 jobs will be at risk due to the lack of tourists.
The group is calling on the Government to scrap the 14-day quarantine rule for visitors and replace it with a test and trace system at airports.
However a Kilkenny travel agent says the potential for job losses is greater.
In a bid to prevent the loss of 250,000 related jobs, over six thousand signatures were collected with the petition handed into Dail Eireann on Wednesday.
Tom Britton of Marble CIty Travel was part of that group & he told KCLR Breakfast today “We were meeted & greeted by a number of different TDs and highlighted the harm that’s coming to travel in general, not just to travel agents but the fact that there’s 250,000 indigeneous jobs behind travel in Ireland so it’s the largest employer effectively in the State & it’s harmed detrimentally as we go forward so it was flagging all of that, that’s what we’ve done”.
Mr Britton adds that if you take the case of Sweden who kept their air spaces open, that country has a lower infection rate than Ireland which shows that the issue is elsewhere, saying “We’re after taking the most draconian measure which is where the science said we needed to be but yet our infection rates are higher so therefore air travel isn’t really the issue, there’s something else so if we travel and we watch our Ps & Qs, we do what we’re supposed to do and do what we do here, so if you go to Italy you wash your hands, you wear your mask, you social distance then it’s as safe to go to Italy as it is staying here, where the question is is how much, I’m going to call it hugging, do we do when we go away so we have to maintain what we do here or better”.