Irish tourism industry benefits from tax breaks
Generous tax breaks helped the Irish tourism industry to its best year since 2009.
In its 2013 Year End Review, the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC) reveals that revenue rose by 13 percent on 2012. Almost 7m overseas visitors injected over EUR4bn (USD5.45bn) into the economy in 2013, and hospitality businesses have been able to create 15,000 new jobs since 2011.
According to ITIC Chairman Paul Carty, “2013 was a year of solid achievement for the tourism industry.” He welcomed “very positive” support from the Government, which has continued to maintain a special 9 percent rate of value-added tax (VAT) for the hospitality sector, and recently announced the suspension of the air travel tax.
The ITIC says that it is “quietly confident that conditions are right for further growth in 2014.” However, ensuring Ireland’s competitiveness in relation to other European destinations remains its greatest challenge.
Ireland exited its European Union/International Monetary Fund bailout last month, when the Government also unveiled its economic plans for 2014-20. For the tourism industry to benefit from this, it requires “a fully functioning banking sector to facilitate the investments necessary to deliver innovation, a refreshed tourism experience and expanded capacity to cater to new demand.”
The ITIC has stressed its willingness to work with the Government in the development of a new whole-of-Government approach to tourism.