Budget 2014: Cut in tourism expenditure “foolish and short-sighted”
Deputy Sandra McLellan has criticised the government’s reduction in spending on tourism in Budget 2014.
The Sinn Féin spokesperson on tourism and sport pointed out that any benefits which would accrue from the retention of the 9% VAT rate could be lost due to this cut.
“It is clear to me that the government has not considered the ramifications of the €16m cut in tourism expenditure. I am pleased that the 9% VAT rate has been retained. I lobbied with business and industry groups to retain it.”
“The cut in expenditure, however, could have a serious impact on tourism and could cancel out the benefit of the VAT rate.”
“To attract tourists to Ireland and heighten awareness of Ireland as a destination marketing and promotion are essential. There has been a reduction of 11% in the budget, following a 2% cut last year.”
“We have had a good year in tourism, we need to invest. It is a competitive market. We have very low market penetration in emerging markets such as China, India and Brazil, which should be central to the future industry. “Tourism Ireland’s target is to increase Chinese visitors from 17,000 in 2012 to 50,000 per year in the next five years, but I am quite sure that today’s announcement damaged that strategy.”
“The government was very keen to play up the benefits to Irish tourism created by The Gathering, but today’s decision seems to indicate a complacency which will allow its benefits to dissipate.”