·        Pro-tourism measure vote of confidence in industry as Brexit bites

·        Supports creation of thousands of jobs



Tuesday, 10th October 2017         The Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) welcomes the retention of the 9% tourism VAT rate announced by Minister Donohoe as part of Budget 2018. Joe Dolan, President of the IHF said the rate has been instrumental in the recovery of the tourism industry, which has created approximately 60,000 new jobs since the measure was introduced in 2011.  “Tourism is an indigenous export industry which not only supports approximately 230,000 jobs - equivalent to 11% of total employment in Ireland it also plays a vital role in addressing the regional imbalance in our economy. The 9% VAT rate has been the single most important fiscal initiative for Irish tourism in the last decade and we are pleased the Government has retained the measure.  It demonstrates that it has been highly effective in job creation and also acknowledges that we have a pro-tourism Government who see the value the industry brings to every part of our country. The decision is a critical vote of confidence in the tourism industry at a time when it faces significant risks, most notably from Brexit,” he said. 


Mr Dolan added: “Tourism is one of Ireland’s largest employers. It currently supports some 230,000 jobs and is on-track to create a further 40,000 new jobs by 2021. Direct actions by the government including the 9% VAT rate [and the zero rate travel tax] have helped level the playing field for tourism businesses to compete for visitors with other European destinations and are vital in underpinning and sustaining that growth.”


“Tourism makes an important contribution to the economy of every county and town in Ireland. While the industry has returned to growth, with Brexit looming, a weaker sterling and a continued slowdown in tourism growth, there is no room for complacency.” 


Mr Dolan acknowledged the important support provided by Government, Minister Paschal Donohoe and by Tourism Ministers Shane Ross and Brendan Griffin as well as those public representatives across the country who strive to ensure that tourism remains at the centre of Government economic policy and its important role in growing the Irish economy is recognised.





Ger McCarthy /Barry Ryan                           Tel: 01 6798600

Weber Shandwick                                           Mobile: 086 233 3590/085 728 7326


Irish Tourism Sector at a Glance

·        8.8 million overseas visitors in 2016, up 769,000 (9.6%)

·        Total tourism revenue of €8.25 billion in 2016. 

·        Tourism accounts for almost 4% GNP

·        Irish tourism set to increase 40,000 jobs by 2021

·        Tourism industry supports approximately 230,000 jobs - equivalent to 11% of total employment in Ireland with almost 60,000 of these jobs in the hotels sector alone

·        Visitor numbers from Britain have fallen by 7.1% for the first eight months of 2017, compared to the same period last year.  [LINK]

·        Overseas visitors have increased by just 2.5% for the period January - August 2017 whereas they were up 12.3% to the end of August 2016, when compared with the same period in 2015.

  • Total of 60,128 hotel and guesthouse bedrooms in Ireland (2016)



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