Retention of 9% VAT rate vital for tourism in Wicklow

Retention of 9% VAT rate vital for tourism in Wicklow  – Doyle

The retention of the 9% VAT rate is vital for tourism here in Wicklow, according to a Fine Gael TD Andrew Doyle .

Doyle  said: “The latest official data on overseas travel from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), showed an increase of 2.9% in overseas visits to Ireland for the first nine months of 2017 compared to the same period of 2016.

“Separate data from Fáilte Ireland showed that 272,000 overseas tourists came to Wicklow in 2016, a trend which I hope will be built on further this year.

“Tourism accounts for 11% of total employment in Ireland with 60,000 jobs in the hotel sector alone. Over 13,000 new jobs were created in the tourism and hospitality sector in 2016 bringing the total number of new jobs since 2011 to almost 50,000.

“While there is still uncertainty about the outcome of the Brexit process, tourism continues to be a national success story. That said, one clear impact of the UK’s decision has been a continuing weakness in the value of sterling which has knock on effects for Irish tourism.

“That is why Fine Gael in Government decided to retain the 9% VAT rate for the tourism and hospitality sector. This measure was first introduced by Fine Gael and helped create jobs all over the country, particularly in towns and rural areas where they were needed most.

“It is undeniable that the 9% VAT rate has contributed hugely to the regeneration of the hospitality sector and to our tourism industry in Wicklow .

“It is essential that competiveness and value for money is maintained – this is essential as we face into Brexit – and I ask that everyone involved in the tourism and hospitality sectors adhere to this.

“Encouragingly the number of visitors from North America, mainland Europe and other markets continues to grow. “In the recent Budget, Minister Donohoe also announced a total allocation of over €2 billion in total funding for the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport for 2018. This includes €112m for funding to enhance further our tourism offering and market our country abroad.

“Fine Gael will continue to work hard to ensure our hospitality sector gets the supports it needs,” Doyle  said.

Doyle welcomes “Talking Hardwoods” Forestry Event

 

Mr. Andrew Doyle, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for forestry today opened the ‘Talking Hardwoods’ 2017 event at the Firgrove Hotel, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork.

 

The Minister commented “I am pleased to participate in this very important event bringing together forest owners with broadleaf tree species in their forest plantations and the hardwood industry to learn and share information about the management, harvesting and marketing of hardwoods. Broadleaves represent a very significant proportion of the forest estate, estimated at just over 25%. Given their value, their longer growing cycle and different management requirements, it is timely for this event to focus specifically on issues for broadleaf growers. I would particularly like to commend Teagasc on organising it”.

 

The ‘Talking Hardwoods’ event presents an opportunity for broadleaf owners to find out more about managing their forests and the options available to them in the future. The Minister added that “all of the indications are that quality is key in the production of a valuable hardwood timber crop, and quality is only achieved through appropriate management. The message for owners is that the higher the quality of timber, the more valuable and attractive it will be to the timber purchasers and end-users.”

 

Referring to the forestry sector in general, Minister of Doyle also commented “the continued commitment by the Government to the development of Irish forestry is evident from the forestry allocation announced in recent weeks as part of Budget 2018.  The allocation of €106 million, including a capital carryover, for forestry development will allow for the planting of over 6,600 hectares of new forests next year.”