Louth hotels asking government not to damage the industry

Hotel and guesthouse owners in Louth and across the country are calling on the Government to avoid introducing measures in this autumn’s budget which could damage the tourism industry.

Tourism is one of Ireland’s largest indigenous industries, supporting approximately 235,000 jobs. Hoteliers warn that while the industry has made great strides in recovery in recent years, this growth cannot be taken for granted.

Martin Daly, Chair the Louth branch of the IHF says the 9% VAT rate has been shown to be the right rate for the sector, bringing Ireland more closely in line with tourism VAT rates in other competing European countries and enabling Irish tourism to become more competitive.

“Its positive impact has exceeded expectations nationally however we here in Louth are still in the recovery stage. Over 65,000 new jobs have been created across every town and county since 2011, making the 9% VAT rate one of the most successful job-creation initiatives in modern times. Here in Louth our local tourism sector now supports 2,600 jobs and contributes some €74m to the local economy.”

While the sector has achieved a return to growth, Mr Daly says that there is no room for complacency with the tourism sector facing enormous difficulties due to the uncertainty around Brexit and the fall in the value of sterling. “Our industry is heavily dependent on the economic environment of our major source markets, and we are very vulnerable to external economic shocks.’

Drogheda Independent