A FAMILY day out is almost 10pc cheaper following the VAT rate cut, a survey by the Irish Independent has found.
Most businesses immediately passed on the benefit of the 4.5pc rate reduction yesterday, with some going beyond this and slashing their prices by as much as 20pc.
However, despite calls from trade organisations and tourism bodies to "step up to the plate", some retailers have been slow in passing on the cut to customers.
The reduction in the rate, from 13.5pc to 9pc, was designed to make the tourism sector more competitive and boost employment. However, domestic consumers are also benefiting.
Among those to have cut their prices are restaurants, cinemas, sports clubs and hairdressers.
It means that a family day out for two adults and two children including lunch, dinner, a trip to the cinema and a haircut for mum could work out almost 10pc cheaper.
Lunch at Burger King on Dublin's Grafton Street, followed by a haircut at Peter Marks and then tickets to see the latest 'Transformers' film in 3D at the Savoy Cinema, rounded off with dinner at a Milano's restaurant now costs €154.45 -- down from €171.25 and a saving of 9.8pc.
Businesses that did not immediately pass on the saving to their customers included Insomnia coffee shop on Talbot Street, Dublin 1, and Supermacs on Westmoreland Street, Dublin 2.
Supermacs marketing manager Jarlath O'Dwyer said prices would come down at their outlets from the middle of next week. "We will be changing prices on the tills and we are looking forward to a bit of business coming out of it next week," he said.
Other businesses, such as the Shelbourne Hotel and Portmarnock Golf Club in Dublin, were still quoting the old prices on their websites early yesterday. However, spokesmen said they were passing on the full benefit of the VAT cut and their websites would be amended to reflect this.
The Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC) called on all tourism-related businesses to pass on the cut.
"The reduced rate allows hoteliers and those providing food and accommodation the opportunity to continue with great value offers and to reinforce the message that Irish tourism offers excellent value for money," said ITIC chairman John Healy.
Failte Ireland said it had written to thousands of tourism businesses urging them to pass on the cut to customers.
"Tourism has been handed a part to play here to contribute to this country's economic recovery and now is the time to step up to the plate," said chief executive Shaun Quinn.
The cut will remain in effect until December 2012 and will then be reviewed.