Tourism sector welcomes VAT retention
The tourism sector has welcomed the retention of the 9 per cent VAT rate for the hospitality sector in the budget.
The rate was brought in during last year’s budget to help the struggling tourism sector. It was reduced from 13.5 per cent to 9 per cent.
Fáilte Ireland chief executive Shaun Quinn said the measure was welcomed at a time when there were “tentative signs of recovery in the tourism sector”.
“This measures has given a big boost at local level to tourism business and it is very much welcome as we try to maintain the momentum towards fully recovery in the sector.”
Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) chief executive Tim Fenn said the 9 per cent rate had received an “overwhelming response” among hotels and guesthouses with 93 per cent suggesting that the retention of the measure would continue to have a positive impact on the business into 2013.
“This measures has given a big boost at local level to tourism business and it is very much welcome as we try to maintain the momentum towards fully recovery in the sector,” he said.
The budgets of both Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland have been kept broadly in line with what they were last year in order to promote The Gathering with an overall cut of 2 per cent.
Fáilte Ireland which is allocating €7 million to The Gathering next year has seen its budget cut from €74.5 million to €72 million, a cut of 3 per cent.
The Restaurant Association of Ireland were quick to condemn the €1 duty on the cost of a bottle of wine.
Chief executive Adrian Cummins described the hike as “another burden" restaurants don’t need.
“Most restaurants are simply struggling to survive, especially those outside the major cities. Budget 2013 was not what they needed to see before Christmas,” he said.
The Coach Tourism & Transport Council (CTTC) which represents Ireland’s independent bus and coach companies has expressed surprise and disappointment at this year’s Budget which has granted Ireland’s haulage companies an excise rebate on diesel, while ignoring those in the passenger transport sectors.
“Ireland’s coach tourism offering to foreign visitors is being damaged by this indifferent Government. Coach companies cannot afford to upgrade their fleets, and this affects the experience of around 300,000 visitors to Ireland each year."