According to the ITIC, “Assuming Q1 has a -60% impact (March wiped out and no Saint Patrick’s Festival), Q2 sees a -85% impact (when little international business of any serious note happens) and then slow recovery occurs in Q3 (-70%) and Q4 (-50%), the overseas earnings element of the tourism economy for 2020 could amount to as little as €1.58 billion, a Covid-19 cost to Irish tourism of €3.52 billion”.
This means that for the January to March period tourism values could fall to €305 million from €763 million while the April to June period could see some €227 million in value compared with 2019’s €1.513 billion in 2019.
And the July to September quarter could be down by as much as €1.3 billion to €547 million from €1.824 billion while the October to December quarter could see values fall from just over €1 billion last year to just €500 million this year.
If the fares paid to Irish air and sea carriers by international visitors are included then the total cost of Covid-19 amounts to over €5 billion, states ITIC’s initial estimate.
Such an exercise for Irish tourism poses a number of significant questions.
“Will Irish tourism be fully open for business this Summer?” asks the ITIC, “Which source markets might visit? How badly-impacted will the air access situation be post Covid-19?
“The domestic market is likely to recover faster than overseas markets but it is the latter that is the main contributor to Ireland’s tourism industry,” concludes the report.