Ireland to retain tourism industry's lower VAT rate until 2014
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Ireland to retain tourism industry's lower VAT rate until 2014

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Image: The rate applies to tourism sector products

Ireland's tourism, hospitality and leisure industry has received a boost after it was revealed that a temporary 9 per cent VAT rate introduced in July 2011 will remain throughout 2013.

The reduced rate was implemented by the government in order to increase inbound tourism and create jobs, and applies to products such as hotel accommodation and restaurant meals.

Tourism minister Leo Varadkar has now said the measure will be kept until the end of next year to benefit The Gathering Ireland 2013, a year-long programme of festivals.

Varadkar said: "Early indications are that the policy is working. Employment among accommodation and food providers has increased by around 6,300 since 1 July last year.

"The VAT reduction has also enabled businesses to be more competitive and offer lower prices to their customers."

Meanwhile, Taioseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore have launched The Gathering Ireland 2013, which is set to be the country's largest-ever tourism event.

A programme of festivals and events will take place in a bid to attract more inbound visitors, with plans including a new music festival and international GAA events among others.

Kenny said: "The Gathering aims to engage with our global diaspora, to entice them to come home in 2013 and to encourage them to extend an invitation to Ireland to others."

Details: www.transport.ie (VAT rate announcement)

Details: www.transport.ie (The Gathering Ireland 2013)

Image: Tourism Ireland/Holger Leue

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Ireland's tourism, hospitality and leisure industry has received a boost after it was revealed that a temporary 9 per cent VAT rate introduced in July 2011 will remain throughout 2013.
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