Hotel occupancy in Ireland fell in July from 90% last year to 42% this year according to an industry survey.
The Irish Hotels Federation said the survey results reveal the enormous challenges facing hotels and guesthouses with demand plummeting year on year as a result of the current crisis.
Nationally, average room occupancy stood at 42% for July, compared with occupancy levels of over 90% for July last year. This is the largest year-on-year drop ever recorded by the Irish hotels sector for the peak summer season.
IHF President Elaina Fitzgerald Kane said that the stark figures highlight the requirement for additional sectoral specific measures for tourism.
She said: "Even in a best-case scenario we are effectively looking at occupancy levels of less than 30% for the year as a whole. This is nothing short of disastrous for our sector with serious implications for the tourism industry and wider economy."
The IHF surveyed 305 hotels and guesthouses earlier this week accounting for a combined stock of 29,500 guestrooms spread throughout the country.
Breakdown of occupancy results:
Border region: 63%
Midlands / Mid East: 48%
South East: 63%
South West: 53%
In a further blow to the hospitalist sector, the CSO announced earlier this week that the number of overseas visitors to Ireland has by dropped by 97% year on year.