The retention of the nine per cent VAT rate on tourism-related products and services is imperative for the continued health of the industry.
That’s according to Labour Senator Lorraine Higgins, who said that this particular measure had outperformed all other initiatives and has helped increase competitiveness within the industry.
“The retention of the nine per cent VAT rate is crucial to the tourism industry which has gotten a much needed shot in the arm from the reduction in VAT. I want to see it continued through 2014 and beyond,” said Senator Higgins.
The Athenry Senator said that recent tourism figures, which showed that overseas trips to Ireland increased by 8.1 per cent between March and May of this year, a total increase of 132,000 on 2012, were hugely welcome.
“These are some of the best figures that have been seen in the past four years and are a strong indication that the Government’s tourism strategy is paying dividends. It is a positive reflection of the on-going work that is being carried out and to usurp this by reversing the decision to cut vat to nine per cent would be foolhardy by the Government,” she said.
Noting that the image of the ‘Rip-off Republic’ had now dissipated, Senator Higgins said that the reduced VAT rate painted a picture of an Ireland that had “vastly improved in terms of value for money”.
“Yes, we have beautiful scenery and friendly people, but we are also very competitive on cost, and can offer a range of excellently priced tourism products to our overseas markets,” she said.