Breen welcomes pro-tourism measures in Budget 2014

October 16th, 2013 - Pat Breen

Fine Gael Clare TD and Chairman of the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs and Trade Committee, Pat Breen, has today (Tuesday) warmly welcomed the tourism-friendly measures contained in Budget 2014, including the retention of the 9% VAT rate, the scrapping of the airline tax and funding for the Wild Atlantic Way.

“The 2014 Budget, as announced by the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan TD, clearly recognises the importance of the tourism sector to the Irish economy. The retention of the 9% VAT rate for tourism services is a hugely positive move, and will help to safeguard the thousands of extra jobs created in the tourism sector over the last two years.

“The scrapping of the air travel tax is another welcome boost to the travel industry. I will be writing to the Chief Executives of Ryanair and Aer Lingus requesting that the airlines respond positively to this decision through the provision of additional routes through Shannon Airport and all of our other major airports.

“The Government recognises the fact that the tourism sector is having a very positive impact on our economic recovery. The latest CSO figures show that visitor numbers have increased by 4.2%, and in particular there has been a jump in the number of people coming to Ireland from the United States and other long haul destinations like New Zealand and Australia.

“It was also announced today that that proceeds from the sale of the National Lottery licence will be used to fund the Wild Atlantic Way. This will ensure this major tourism project is delivered, greatly benefitting communities from Donegal to Cork. It will feature a guided touring route which will repackage the Atlantic seaboard and attract tourists back to key attractions, including the West Clare coastlines. A total of €8 million in funding has been announced in the Budget, which will mean the route will be sign posted by next spring.

“The measures announced in the Budget will allow the tourism sector to continue to go from strength to strength. I am confident that through cheaper airline fares, increased routes, and great value in tourism services, we will continue to attract more visitors from abroad and safeguard jobs here at home.”