Seanad debates

Wednesday, 28 February 2024

Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters

Tourist Accommodation

10:30 am

Photo of Martin HeydonMartin Heydon (Kildare South, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

The importance of the tourism sector to the Irish economy and communities across Ireland is understood well by Government. The role of the Minister, her Department and Fáilte Ireland is to support the tourism industry and work for the sustainable development of Ireland as a high-quality and competitive tourism destination. Fáilte Ireland provides a range of practical business supports to help tourism businesses better manage and market their products and services.

The Minister and the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment co-chair a hospitality and tourism forum that on a regular basis brings these important inter-related sectors together. The forum provides a platform for structured engagement between the tourism and hospitality sectors and relevant Government Departments where key issues can be discussed with a view to identifying practical solutions, which were raised by the Senator today. The forum met most recently on 24 January 2024. The impact of tourism accommodation displacement on the two sectors was among the items discussed.

While the increased cost of business scheme is not administered by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, it is still an overall Government support and both it and the announcement by the Minister for Finance of a reduction in the interest rate applying to warehoused tax debt to 0% are both of direct relevance and benefit to a wide range of businesses across the hospitality sector. I take on board the Senator's point about the limitations of that €10 million fund. It is better than not having it but that alone will not be a panacea for everything. I undertake to bring back the concerns expressed by the Senator relating to the tourism industry in Mayo to the Minister. We want to see that supported and developed into the future.


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