The Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (I.T.I.C. ) today called on the Government to scrap the E10 airport travel levy introduced in last month’s Budget.
In a presentation to the Joint Committee on Arts, Sport and Tourism ITIC forecast that the difficult times being experienced by the industry are likely to continue into 2010.
Chairman Dick Bourke told the Committee today that the current year was likely to see a drop in overseas visitor numbers, for the first time since 2002.
The decline in visitors is more pronounced in the second half of the year, and the industry is of the view that this trend is likely to carry through much of 2009.
ITIC is hopeful however that the economic recession, which is affecting all markets, will begin to ease in the latter half of 2009, and this could bring a return to modest growth in 2010. The confederation is encouraged by the moderation in fuel costs and the renewed strength of the US dollar. “These movements”, said Mr Bourke, “will not bring immediate results, but if maintained, will gradually start to have a favourable impact on consumer confidence, which in turn will bring renewed interest in travel.”
The domestic market has powered ahead in recent times with revenue growing by 60pc over the past 5 years. “This level of growth will not be maintained this year, and there is likely to be further contraction in 2009”, said Mr Bourke