The tourism industry has had a "staggeringly difficult 21 months" and has lost around €17m per day, according to the chief executive of the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation.

In its 2021 review, ITIC estimates that the sector missed out on around €400m in December alone, as tighter restrictions led to the cancelation of trips, parties and nights out.

It estimated that around €12.2 billion has been lost to the industry as a result of the pandemic.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireand, Mr O'Mara Walsh called for a long term, sector-specific plan to help the industry move forward.

He hoped that there would be a rebound to 60% of 2019 levels in the Summer of 2022, which would be "very welcome".

However ITIC says this is dependent on 'pro-aviation' and 'pro-tourism' policies from Government.

Mr O'Mara Walsh said that, until the arrival of the omicron variant, things had been looking very positive but that currently there are "uncertain weeks ahead."

However he added that the signs are positive and everyone must trust that this will pass.

After what will be a soft January, he said he was hopefully there would be a much more stable period with bookings coming in from key markets such as the US and UK.

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