Tourism industry welcomes tax measures in Budget 2014
on 15/10/2013 16:00:30
During Budget speeches today, it was announced that the lower 9% VAT rate for the hospitality sector, which was due to be abolished, would continue. The air travel tax was also cut to 0% from April next year.
Commenting on the announcements, Minister for tourism Leo Varadkar said it was "hugely significant for the tourism industry."
"I know this wasn't an easy decision to make given limited resources, but it's further confirmation that this Government is committed to job creation in the tourism sector."
Aer Arann, welcoming the abolition of the air travel tax, said "its abolition brings Ireland more into line with other countries.
"It helps airlines like ours to achieve our growth plans, particularly as we roll-out new aircraft and new routes in 2014 and beyond."
The airline did, however, call for the date of abolition to be brought forward to January 1 instead of the announced date of April 1.
"Setting an abolition date of 1 April risks undermining the bounce this decision offers. The early days of the New Year are traditionally a time when people make travel bookings for the year ahead. St Patrick's Day, Easter and school holidays are all key travel occasions in the first quarter of the year," it said in a statement.
Earlier today, CSO figures showed an 8% increase in earnings from overseas tourism in the first half of 2013.