New measures for the survival and recovery of Irish tourism were laid out in Budget 2021, reports Shauna McCrudden
Tourism Ireland has welcomed the measures outlined in Budget 2021 for the survival and recovery of the Irish tourism sector. The new Budget was announced just yesterday, with many industries either rejoicing or lamenting the new plan. But for the tourism sector, there was finally some good news!
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland says, “Covid-19 delivered an immediate and devastating impact on tourism and hospitality this year. Since the middle of March, we have had virtually no international visitors.
“We, therefore, welcome the Government’s and Minister Catherine Martin’s recognition of the extremely serious challenges facing our industry right now. The measures for Irish tourism businesses outlined in Budget 2021 are an important first step on the road to recovery for Irish tourism.”
Some of these measures include the reduction of the VAT rate from 13.5% to 9% and a fund of €55 million to support tourism businesses in response to Covid-19. There is also a new ‘traffic light’ system for travel by the EU, considered an important step on the road to re-starting overseas travel.
Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination. In 2019, almost 11.2 million overseas visitors were welcomed to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of almost €5.8 billion. So a lack of international tourism has seriously affected the sector and overall economy.
Niall says, “When international travellers are on the move again, the reduced VAT rate will ensure that Ireland is more competitive and that tourism businesses can offer good value, to help hold our market share. Tourism Ireland will be communicating the good news about the new VAT rate to our important travel trade partners around the world.
“We welcome the decision to maintain the level of investment in the tourism marketing fund, which will be important for the restoration of overseas tourism, when the time is right.
“This is a truly terrible time for tourism, but I do believe that Irish tourism can, and will, recover from this devastating pandemic. There are undoubtedly significant challenges for our industry. Once this crisis is past and Ireland is open again to international visitors, we in Tourism Ireland will be ready to play our part in delivering a sustainable recovery for the long-term future of our industry.”
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