The chief executive of Dublin airport operator, daa, has said he is "very concerned" about the impact of mandatory hotel quarantine.

Dalton Philips said the Irish regime is one of the most restrictive of any EU country.

"We are the only EU country with mandatory quarantine and it is of great concern to me," he told The Business Show Rebooting Ireland online conference.

The airport boss said the epidemiological data from throughout the pandemic shows that at its peak only 2% of cases in Ireland were linked to international travel.

"It is a relatively small proportion and yet this mandatory quarantine is a sledgehammer," he added.

Ireland will have to rebuild connectivity, he said, and if we lose it that impacts right across the country.

"We are going to lose key core connectivity that is going to impact significantly our economy as we build back, so I am very concerned about mandatory quarantine," he stated.

He also pointed to the signal it sends out across the world, which he said "isn't great" as we have "demonised travel" and that is "floating out through social media right across the world."

Mr Philips said pre-pandemic, daa had 48 airlines servicing Dublin airport at this time of the year, and that currently stands at 42, "so that is encouraging".

But he said he is worried that the airport is starting to see those airlines consolidating their planned capacity for later in the year.

"So there's quite a few unknowns in Ireland's case that do worry me," he said.

He said mandatory quarantine feeds into that uncertainty, and so while there is definitely pent up demand for trips for leisure and to visit families and friends, at the moment there is no sign of any restrictions being lifted.

"And I think the long-term scarring for this economy and connectivity…to the rest of the world is concerning, because some of these key routes into Asia and North America, those routes could dry up," he claimed.

He said when it comes to resumption of travel, although there is work to be done in building confidence among passengers that flying is safe, what airports and airlines do is largely irrelevant and Government decisions are what will matter.

"I really think the Irish Government now needs to lean-in on the EU digital green pass and get right into the middle of Europe in terms of deciding how we use that, how it is rolled out," he said.

Speaking during the same session, Pat McCann, the CEO of hotel group Dalata, agreed that there is huge pend up demand for tourism.

However, he said he does not anticipate much international travel until September or October at the earliest and at that point it will be driven by corporate bookings.

Until then, he said, tourism here would in the main be driven by domestic travel.

He said the pandemic will end and the sector will get back to a new normal, although his concern is how many people will have the will and mental capacity to pick themselves up and rebuild their businesses.