Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport

Challenges Facing Travel Agents and the Aviation Sector: Discussion

Mr. Paul Hackett:

Effectively nobody is making bookings for summer 2021 at the moment. There is a small improvement in trading, but from being 95% down to being 85% down is not much to brag about. Consumers need confidence and that will come from the vaccine roll-out and the implementation of the digital green certificates. Until that is clear, we will not see consumers booking. Consumers have had so many lost opportunities and cancellations on holidays last year and earlier this year that with the vaccination piece now in sight, they are waiting until they have clarity on that.

As regards the internal market, naturally if we open within the EU, I am sure that Irish hotels and the Irish hospitality sector will dearly welcome internal traffic from other EU states into Ireland. That should be in place. Regarding our booking period, that is the lag-time between when people pay a deposit and when they travel. We do not count the profit until they travel. Having had practically zero trading for nine months, we are looking at another six to nine months of very low levels of trading before we can return to breakeven, let alone profitability.


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