The Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) has welcomed the retention of the 9% tourism VAT rate announced by Minister Noonan as part of Budget 2017.
Joe Dolan, The Bush Hotel and President of the IHF, said the rate has been instrumental in the recovery of the tourism industry, which has created some 50,000 new jobs since the measure was introduced in 2011.
“This measure has been the single most important fiscal initiative for Irish tourism in the last decade and we are pleased the Government has retained the rate. It demonstrates that it has been highly effective in job creation and also acknowledges that we have a pro-tourism Government who see the value the industry brings to every part of our country located on the periphery of Europe. The decision is a vote of confidence in the tourism industry at a time of uncertainty due to Brexit,” he said.
Mr Dolan added: “Tourism is one of Ireland’s largest employers. It currently supports some 220,000 jobs and is on-track to create a further 40,000 new jobs by 2021. Direct actions by the government including the 9% VAT rate [and the zero rate travel tax] have helped level the playing field for tourism businesses to compete for visitors with other European destinations and are vital in underpinning and sustaining that growth.”
“Tourism makes an important contribution to the economy of every town and village in Ireland. While the industry has returned to growth, with Brexit on the horizon, a weaker sterling and an uncertain global outlook, there is no room for complacency.
Mr Dolan acknowledged the important support provided by Government, Ministers Michael Noonan and Paschal Donohoe and by Tourism Ministers Shane Ross and Patrick O’Donovan as well as those public representatives across the country who strive to ensure that tourism remains at the centre of Government economic policy and its important role in growing the Irish economy is recognised.