Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Mary Hanafin has said she plans to meet the National Asset Management Agency to discuss the problems of the hotel sector, and specifically the future of viable hotels.

Speaking on Morning Ireland, she said that while the present low level of hotel prices - down 50% since 2007 - represented great value, it was not the Government's business to decide which hotels should close.

She said the market would play a part, but that it was important that viable businesses did not go under.

Earlier, on the same programme, the chief executive of the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation said the recovery in the tourist industry was 'anaemic', and could take up to five years.

Eamon McKeon said there was continuing concern about the British sector, which provides up to 50% of business. He also called for the scrapping of the €10 travel tax on airport departures.