Calls for government to keep competitiveness in tourism sector

There are issues with a possible increase in the VAT rate with the upcoming budget

There are calls for the Government to retain competitiveness and restore investment in the tourism sector as key priorities, particularly to cope with the effects already being felt due to the Brexit vote in the UK.

The call comes from the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation in its pre-budget submission.

It says that Brexit poses a two-pronged immediate-term challenge for the tourism sector in Ireland. The UK has become a better value location for international holiday-makers due the fall of the sterling and UK visitors will find Ireland more expensive as a result.

Paul Gallagher of the ITIC is calling on the Government to retain the VAT rate at 9% in the budget: "When you look to the UK particularly, their VAT rate on hospitality is 20%."

"So you can see the advantage we have against UK, particularly around the VAT, and around Europe, Ireland's VAT rate is very much the right size at 9%, with most European cities and countries having similar rates to Ireland."