The Irish travel industry will soon become "unsustainable" without additional support from the government, the Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) has warned.
The ITAA said that despite engaging with ministers for several months, there was now a very real risk of "widespread collapse" across the industry.
According to the ITAA, around 3,500 people are employed in travel agencies across the country, "the majority of whom are at risk of long-term unemployment unless immediate action is taken" the association said late on Thursday (27 August).
Chief executive Pat Dawson said it was vital the government supported the sector to preserve jobs and ensure a viable industry remains when the eventual upturn comes.
The ITAA has called for additional wage subsidies and grants to support travel businesses struggling in the bleak Covid trading environment, with travel having all but come to a standstill.
It has participated in ongoing meetings with the country’s department for transport, tourism and sport since March, and met with minister Hildegarde Naughton in July to put forward a business support submission outlining the situation the Irish travel sector faces.