Taxpayer aided measures boost hotel and guesthouse market

McLoughlin: 9% VAT rate important factor in growth for Sligo hotel industry

Sligo News File Online

Fine Gael Sligo-Leitrim TD, Tony McLoughlin
Fine Gael Sligo-Leitrim TD, Tony McLoughlin

Fine Gael TD Tony McLoughlin has attributed growth in the Sligo hotel and guesthouse sector to hard work and the reduction in tourism and air travel taxes.

The VAT rate for tourism has been slashed to 9% – which is 6.5% less than the tariff imposed on the Greek  tourism industry and 14% lower than the 23% rate foisted on its restaurant trade under EU bailout  arrangements supported by the Irish government.

The Sligo-Leitrim Dail Deputy said:

“The latest quarterly barometer from the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) shows that business has continued to grow for hotels and guesthouses in Co. Sligo over the first six months of the year, further illuminating the strong national economic recovery currently at hand.

“Another positive aspect of this survey is that confidence levels among hotels and guesthouses in Sligo has strengthened during the first six months of 2015 according to the IHF.

“It can be seen on a daily bases that Sligo is attracting more and more overseas visitors to our town. But I believe that these figures can and will increase further as we go forward.

“With visitor levels up, this is having a very positive impact on other local businesses and continued growth is expected as the majority of hotels and guesthouses plan to increase staffing levels further over the next twelve months.

“Tourism is one of Ireland’s largest industries supporting over 200,000 jobs. This sector has continued to grow and has been vital in rebuilding Ireland’s economy. The Fine Gael led Government remains committed to growing the tourism sector further to deliver an extra 600,000 overseas visitors and increase visitor revenue by almost 25% to €950m in total by 2020.

“Sligo can play a big part in this growth,” he added.

The threatened Greek tourism industry accounts for 20% of the country’s GDP.