Friday 19 January 2018

Air links top Varadkar's agenda in China visit

Leo Varadkar: tourism focus. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Leo Varadkar: tourism focus. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Niall O'Connor, Political Correspondent

Minister Leo Varadkar is leading negotiations in China aimed at developing new aviation links with Ireland.

The trip, which has been organised on the back of The Gathering, is also designed to crack the lucrative Chinese tourism market.

Mr Varadkar addressed the opening of the Global Summit of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) in the city of Sanya yesterday.

The minister highlighted Ireland's special 9pc VAT rate for those involved in the tourism sector, as well as the decision to scrap the air travel tax.

"This invitation to take part in the WTTC this year is a strong recognition of the Irish Government's focus on tourism, and its role in creating jobs and supporting incomes," Mr Varadkar said.

"I'm delighted to be here to talk about our tourism strategy including our efforts to promote new air and sea routes into Ireland."

He said topics to be covered included "the special 9pc VAT rate for tourism, the zero-rate air travel tax, and the long-awaited independence of Shannon airport".

"It's great to be able to promote our record in creating extra jobs in tourism and hospitality on the world stage," he added.

Mr Varadkar is due to meet members of the Irish diaspora in China, including those associated with the GAA.

Irish Independent

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