VAT rate for hotels will be kept low for 'Gathering' year
THE reduced VAT rate aimed at boosting the tourism industry will remain in place next year.
Highlighting the Gathering initiative, which the government hopes will bring an extra 325,000 tourists to Ireland, Finance Minister Michael Noonan said that the special reduced 9pc VAT rate for hotels and visitor attractions in the tourism sector will continue until at least the end of 2013.
Mr Noonan said: "2013 is a very important year for the tourism industry.
Promotion of The Gathering has been underway for some time and reports indicate that it is striking a chord both at home and abroad, he said.
"It is an initiative that we should all support," he added.
The Irish Hotels Federation described the move as a "significant boost" for the tourism industry.
Its chief executive Tim Fenn welcomed the announcement but called on the minister to "remove any uncertainty around the tourism VAT rates retention into 2014 so that it doesn't become a barrier to securing sustained growth in visitor numbers."
Irish Independent Supplement