AVEA, the Association of Visitors Experiences and Attractions says its members are reporting declines of up to 10 per cent in 2019.
The group, which begins its two-day annual conference in Thomond Park in Limerick to-day, surveyed members on the performance of their business so far this year.
“Unfortunately, 2019 has not lived up to visitor expectations so far,” said the organisation’s incoming chairman, Niall O’Callaghan, managing director of Shannon Heritage. “While the sector remains positive, performance will be down by up to 10 per cent on 2018. Clouds are gathering on the horizon for Irish tourism.”
Avea members collectively employ about 4,000 staff, and welcomed 22.6 million visitors in 2018, generating revenues of €489 million.
The organisation is warning, however, that the impact Brexit and “more unstable geo-social and political environments in many of our international markets” threaten the sector.
It is also worried about the increase in costs such as insurance, and the impact this has on the industry’s competitiveness. The association has called for more State support for the sector and further capital expenditure.