Updated: 25/10/17 : 06:27:14Printable Version
The retention of the ‘9% VAT rate’ is vital for tourism in Sligo, that’s according to Fine Gael TD and Assistant Whip, Tony McLoughlin.
Deputy McLoughlin said “the latest official data on overseas travel from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), showed an increase of 2.9% in overseas visits to Ireland for the first nine months of 2017 compared to the same period of 2016. “Separate data from Fáilte Ireland showed that 184,000 overseas tourists came to Sligo in 2016, a trend which I hope will be built on further this year. This includes 52,000 from the UK, 83,000 from mainland Europe and 38,000 from the USA.
These international visitors to Co. Sligo have contributed €48 Million to our local economy in 2016.
“Nationally tourism accounts for 11% of total employment in Ireland with 60,000 jobs in the hotel sector alone. Over 13,000 new jobs were created in the tourism and hospitality sector in 2016 bringing the total number of new jobs since 2011 to almost 50,000.
“While there is still uncertainty about the outcome of the Brexit process, tourism continues to be a national success story. That said, one clear impact of the UK’s decision has been a continuing weakness in the value of sterling which has knock on effects for Irish tourism."
Deputy McLoughlin continued, “That is why Fine Gael in Government decided to retain the 9% VAT rate for the tourism and hospitality sector. This measure was first introduced by Fine Gael and helped create jobs all over the country, particularly in towns and rural areas where they were needed most.
“It is undeniable that the 9% VAT rate has contributed hugely to the regeneration of the hospitality sector and to our tourism industry in Co. Sligo.
"It is essential that competiveness and value for money is maintained – this is essential as we face into Brexit - and I ask that everyone involved in the tourism and hospitality sectors adhere to this.
“Encouragingly the number of visitors from North America, mainland Europe and other markets continues to grow in Sligo and I look forward to even more tourists visiting our county in 2018," concluded the Sligo based Government TD. Follow Sligo Today on Twitter and never miss a Sligo story