THE Government was called on to take decisive action in next month's Budget to ensure the tourism sector recovers and lives up to its potential to create jobs and boost the economy. In its pre-Budget submission, the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) called on Finance Minister Michael Noonan to introduce measures to improve tourism competitiveness.
Mr Noonan was told the hotels sector employs more than 50,000 people directly. With overseas visitor numbers down almost 3pc in the year to date, IHF chief Tim Fenn said that declining visitor numbers, particularly from the British market, underscore the challenges faced in promoting Ireland as an attractive destination.
Fears of recession grow in Japan
ECONOMIC activity in Japan contracted in the latest quarter, signalling that, like Europe, it may already be in recession, further weighing down world growth. On an annualised basis, the world's number three economy shrank 3.5pc in the three months from July to September, the State said.
The figures were in line with gloomy forecasts after Japan's territorial dispute with China hammered exports that were already weakened by feeble global demand.
City bonuses set to half this year
BONUSES for this year in London's financial sector will more than halve to £1.6bn (€1.99bn) in total, a study found. Some shareholders are urging banks to cut pay even more.
The payments will keep falling until 2015, the Centre for Economics and Business Research said yesterday. The researchers also said employment in London's banks, brokerages and other financial sector firms – collectively known as the City – will keep shrinking.
Summer spike in sports spending
CONSUMER spending on sporting goods and services in Ireland reached almost €86m between May and September, according to new figures from Visa.
In total, there were just over one million sports-related transactions in Ireland over the summer, with an average value of €84.39 per transaction. Sales spiked in August, with transactions in a number of categories rising during the month. Sales in bicycle shops rose by 8.1pc and purchases in sporting goods stores spiked by almost 25pc in August alone.