The Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) has welcomed the retention of the 9% tourism VAT rate announced by Minister Noonan as part of Budget 2015.
Stephen McNally, President of the IHF hailed the measure as one of the most successful job creation initiatives in modern times – supporting the creation of more than 33,000 new jobs since it was introduced in 2011.
“This budget is very positive for the many thousands of tourism businesses throughout the country and is an important recognition of the potential of Irish tourism to continue delivering much-needed jobs growth,” says Mr McNally.
“Thanks to a number of pro-tourism initiatives, the industry is on course to create a further 40,000 jobs by the end of the decade,” says Mr McNally. “The 9% VAT rate, in particular, is of enormous importance to the industry, helping to level the playing field for tourism businesses when competing with international destinations for visitors. This will continue to have benefits for the local economy, particularly in rural regions.”
According to recent industry research carried by the IHF, the overwhelming majority (98%) of hotels and guesthouses say the 9% tourism VAT rate is having a positive impact on their business, enabling almost three quarters (73%) to hire additional new staff over the past 12 months alone. Tourism as a whole now supports some 200,000 jobs – equivalent to one in every nine jobs in the country.
Mr McNally acknowledged the important support provided by Ministers Michael Noonan and Brendan Howlin and by tourism Ministers Paschal Donohoe and Michael Ring in ensuring tourism remains at the heart of the Government’s economic policy and in recognising the valuable role played by tourism in growing the Irish economy and generating increased employment.