Thursday, 27 June 2013
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
Tourism Industry Issues
308. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the extent to which costs for the tourism sector in this country continues to be compared with those applicable in other jurisdictions throughout Europe and worldwide, the extent to which he sees opportunities for development of the Irish tourism sector by addressing such issues; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31395/13]
309. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the extent to which he continues to have discussions on a regular basis with the various stakeholders in the tourism sector with particular reference to the need to identify problems and/or opportunities for the industry in advance with a view to enhanced development in the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31396/13]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 308 and 309 together.
I am in regular contact with the stakeholders in the tourism sector and kept advised of issues of concern to the industry. The Government has introduced several measures under the Jobs Initiative to reduce costs and enhance competitiveness, such as reducing VAT to 9% on a range of tourism services and halving employers' PRSI for those on modest wages. The Finance Act 2013 contains further measures to assist the industry including:
- The diesel fuel rebate for hauliers, bus and coach operators;
- Extending the Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme to encourage investment in tourism accommodation; and
- Smaller tourism businesses will benefit from the higher VAT threshold of €1.25 million.
The Action Plan for Jobs 2013 also sets out the key policy actions to assist the tourism's continued contribution to economic recovery.
The Deputy may also be interested to note that the perception of value for money amongst overseas tourists have improved dramatically since 2009. In 2009 there was an overall negative rating of -11% (i.e.when negative ratings were subtracted from positive) and in 2012 this had improved to +24%.