Galway hoteliers welcome pro-tourism Budget measures

Galway hoteliers have welcomed the announcement by Minister Noonan to retain the nine per cent tourism VAT rate and look forward to working with the Government to increase employment in the sector.

Paul Gill, Branch Chair, Galway IHF says that the reduced VAT rate has been enormously successful to date, enabling tourism and hospitality businesses to take on 15,200 additional jobs at a very difficult time when employment would otherwise have dropped significantly.

“The budget is good news for Irish tourism and is a clear recognition by the Government of the importance of tourism as a labour intensive industry with enormous potential for further job creation,” says Mr Gill. “In particular, the retention of the reduced VAT rate provides us with greater certainty into 2014 and will enable us to compete more effectively abroad for holidaymakers. This will continue to have benefits for increased employment throughout the country, particularly in rural regions.”

Mr Gill notes that the nine per cent VAT rate has received an overwhelmingly positive response among hotels and guesthouses with over nine out of ten in a survey last month saying that retention of the measure would enable them to increase employment into 2014.

He says that hoteliers welcome the decision to scrap the air travel tax as a measure that will support increased air access and enable Ireland to attract a greater share of overseas visitors. Hoteliers also welcome the increase in funding for tourism product development, particularly funding for the Wild Atlantic Way Driving Route. This is another positive measure that will support much-needed investment in new reasons for holidaymakers to visit Ireland.

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