Agents' Choice 2020

Want more visitors, don’t raise taxes

Leave it to the Irish to come up with a pretty straightforward approach to increasing tourist arrivals — don’t raise taxes. Tourism Ireland reports that the value added tax (VAT) on tourism services in the Republic of Ireland will remain at 9% until the end of 2013. Jayne Shackleford, manager of Tourism Ireland in Canada, points out that: “The island of Ireland continues to offer great value to visitors throughout 2012 and into 2013. Value for money remains one of our key messages this year as we promote Ireland as a vacation destination to Canadian holidaymakers. The perception of value available in Ireland continues to improve, and a recent survey by Hotels.com showed that hotels in Ireland offer some of the best value in Europe and listed Dublin as one of its best-value cities.” The reduced tax rate, lowered from 13.5% in 2011 by the Irish government, will continue to provide cost savings for visitors on tourism-related goods and services including restaurant and catering services, hotel and vacation accommodation, and various entertainment services such as admissions to cinemas, theatres, museums, amusement parks and sporting facilities. Other cost savings for visitors continued from 2011 include the elimination of the Air Travel Tax on all flights into Dublin International Airport, and the reduction on air passenger duty on all direct, long-haul routes into Northern Ireland to approximately CDN$20 from CDN$100. The strong Canadian dollar against both the Euro and British Pound Sterling also continues to provide great value to Canadian visitors. Go to http://www.discoverireland.com/hotoffers for more.

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