Tourism Minister warns industry to ‘pass cost savings to tourists – or else’

The Junior Minister for Tourism has issued a stern warning to all involved in the tourism trade to give the consumer the benefit of recent Government cost reductions, or those reductions could be reversed in next December’s budget.

Speaking in his native Westport, Minister for State Michael Ring said: “The Government has played its part by reducing VAT and PRSI, but those benefits must now be passed onto the customer. If not, we will look at reversing those decisions in our next budget in December.”

Minister Ring was speaking at the 11th annual Mayo World Convention, which attracted influential business and community leaders from all over the world.

He added: “The purpose of our recent initiatives for the tourism industry is to make it attractive for people to come and visit this country. But it will only have the desired impact if everyone involved in the trade passes the savings onto the tourists.

“We must improve our competitiveness so that people will find it easy to come here and enjoy what Ireland has to offer. This is a wonderful tourist location, but we can never lose sight of competitiveness.”

Minister Ring paid tribute to all who helped to showcase Ireland during the recent visits of Queen Elizabeth and Barack Obama. “That was a huge effort by everyone involved, including An Garda Síochána and the Irish Army, and we showed the world what we’re made of. The spirit shown over the past fortnight is the spirit that will develop this country’s tourism industry and help to rebuild Ireland’s economy.”

The convention took place over the entire weekend in Hotel Westport.

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