The number of international visitors to Ireland over the first three
months of the year remained down 16% compared to the same period in
2019, before the pandemic hit.
According to data compiled by the Irish Tourism Industry
Confederation (ITIC), 1.7m people visited Ireland from overseas between
January and the end of March.
But the representative body for the sector has expressed concern
about continued inflation in costs and shortages of supply of
accommodation and rental cars.
Over a third of tourism beds in regional areas around the country are
now being used by the Government to accommodate Ukrainian refugees and
international protection applicants.
ITIC is seeking a support fund to help non-accommodation tourism businesses who are impacted by these Government contracts.
“The number of tourism beds no longer available to the tourism
economy is of great concern,” said Elaina Fitzgerald Kane, Chairperson
“There will be tourism towns up and down the country with a shortage
of tourism beds and therefore with very little tourism activity.”
Failte Ireland has estimated that the reliance by the Government on
tourism beds to house refugees and asylum-seekers could cost the tourism
economy €1.1bn this year.
“Downstream tourism businesses such as attractions, cultural experiences, inbound operators, restaurants and vintners will be the ones to suffer,” said Eoghan O’Mara Walsh, CEO of ITIC.