Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Tourism Robert Troy TD has warned that up to 10,000 jobs in the tourism industry are at risk as a result of the ongoing turmoil caused by Brexit.

Deputy Troy pointed out that the latest figures available from the Central Statistics Office show that British tourist arrivals to Ireland are down 6% for the period December – February.

“The tourism industry has been hit hard by the fallout associated with Brexit. The weakening of the sterling, coupled with the uncertainty surrounding the ongoing negotiations, has resulted in the Irish tourism industry facing its biggest challenge since the global recession,” said Deputy Troy.

“The latest figures made available by the CSO show British tourist arrivals to Ireland declined by 6% between December – February. What’s even more alarming is the fact that, looking at February alone, there was a decline of 22% compared to the previous year. This demonstrates that the negative impact of Brexit on the tourism industry is accelerating. If this trend continues then there will be 850,000 fewer arrivals from Britain to Ireland.

“The tourism industry employs up to 220,000 people in Ireland. The Irish Tourist Industry Confederation estimate that some 10,000 jobs are at risk as a result of the uncertainty caused by Brexit. The Government needs to take action to protect the tourism industry from the ill-winds associated with Brexit. Failure to do so will set the industry back many years considering 41% of total overseas visitors to Ireland arrive from Britain.

“Minister for Tourism Shane Ross’s failure to bring forward a new overarching tourism policy document aimed at dealing with the consequences of Brexit is deeply worrying. This should be a top priority for his Department and he should be coming forward with a plan to limit the impact of Brexit alongside growing Ireland’s reputation as a tourism destination abroad to allow the industry to continue expanding,” concluded Deputy Troy.