2014 Budget delivers for tourism

Ministers Noonan and Varadkar delivered for the Tourism Industry yesterday with the announcement of the retention of the 9% VAT rate.  The industry breathed a sigh of relief at the announcement which was first up in the budget and rightly so.  This initiative was introduced in 2011 as part of the stimulus package announced by Minister Varadkar and clearly the Government have recognized that this initiative has worked in delivering 15,000 jobs, building our competitiveness in tourism thus increasing overseas visitor numbers (as seen in recent CSO figures) and has aided recovery at a greater pace than it might have otherwise.  ‘To have altered the VAT rate at this stage would have been detrimental’ says Gerry Nicholls ITOA President.  ‘The Minister has recognized that recovery is fragile and competitiveness is key and therefore taking away a vital component in both of these areas at a time that the industry can move to real growth simply wouldn’t make sense’.  ITOA also greatly welcomed the other initiatives introduced yesterday in abolishing the travel tax from April 01 next and the funding set aside for the development of the Wild Atlantic Way.   ‘Confidence is returning to our industry and the Gathering Ireland 2013 (a tourism industry led initiative) has also played a significant role in delivering for tourism and Ireland Inc, so let’s ensure that we maintain the momentum and deliver more jobs and visitors to Ireland in 2014 and beyond – a lot done but more to do!’ says Gerry Nicholls.

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