Wednesday, 16th May 2012
Waterford hoteliers praise decisive and progressive actions in support of tourism
Waterford hoteliers have welcomed confirmation by Minister Leo Varadkar that the 9% tourism VAT rate will be retained in 2013, stating that the Government's pro-tourism policies are already playing a vital part in the economic revival of the nation. Bettie-Marie Burger Smit, Chair of the South East branch of the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) states that the hotels sector is fully behind the initiative and looks forward to the continued positive contribution it will make to Irish tourism.
"Retention of the tourism VAT rate is very welcome news. Already, it has provided a vital boost to tourism in Waterford. It provides much needed visibility and clarity which will enable international tour operators to plan their 2013 trips to the region with greater certainty on pricing," states Ms Burger Smit. "The nine percent VAT rate gives local tourism enterprises a key competitive advantage when marketing Ireland as a tourism destination, particularly in the run up to the Gathering in 2013 which is to be Ireland's biggest ever tourism initiative."
The IHF's research in March last showed that 92% of hotel and guesthouse owners nationally were concerned about the 9% VAT rate with many hotel and guesthouse owners vocalising that its removal would have a negative impact on the viability of their businesses and ability to create new jobs.
"The assistance from Government has been a much needed lift for the sector by allowing hotels and guesthouses retain and create jobs in an otherwise turbulent environment. While 2012 is undoubtedly going to be another challenging year, the retention of this rate will help to avoid any further retraction of the sector, and allow tourism to continue to be an indigenous driving force of the economy and source of job creation," she continued.
The Irish Hotels Federation represents almost 900 hotels and guesthouses throughout the country, which in turn employ 54,000 people.
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