Mr Gallagher who is also General Manager of Buswells Hotel in Dublin spoke about how the tourism industy is in recovery but that the low VAT rate of 9% introduced by Finance Minister Michael Noonan should remain.
Like many others Buswells saw a loss in turnover during the recession and in turn had to cut staff members. ‘There has been a slow but modest return of business with recent years being very positive,’ he said.
The 9% VAT rate was an emergency measure but (ITIC) called for it to be a permanent measure. Mr Gallagher outlined that Dublin had a recently were The Dean (2014) and The Marker (2013). He added that it would be 2018 before we see the sector recover fully. Also, the capital is often confused with the rest of the country where the sector is recovering at a much slower pace he added.
Mr Gallagher stated: ‘With Brexit looming nobody knows what the outcome of this will be. The GB market is our largest single source with 4.5m visitors travelling across the Irish Sea. These visitors are also more likely to travel around the country which makes them very important to us.’
Out of the 19 Eurozone countries 17 of them have a VAT rate of 10% or lower and this puts Ireland in the perfect position for further growth. We rely on Ireland being an ‘attractive country’ business and leisure and due to the hard work of Tourism Ireland and Failte Ireland with the introduction of the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East we have doubled the amount of North American visitors to our shores he added.
Please see below for link to full interview. (Piece starts approx 02.38.09)