Take-Up Of 'Stay And Spend' Scheme Well Below Original Estimates
The take-up of the government's "Stay and Spend" tax credit initiative by taxpayers has been well below original estimates.
The scheme, which was announced last July, was devised to allow people who go on domestic holidays, or so-called staycations, to claim tax back on hotel and restaurant bills. The scheme was launched last October with an end date in April of 2021.
As reported by The Irish Times, the scheme offered a tax credit against part of the cost of holiday accommodation, dine-in food and non-alcoholic beverages in restaurants, and minister for finance Paschal Donohoe estimated that it would cost the exchequer approximately €270 million, based on over €1 billion of spending.
However, according to The Irish Times, the latest figures for the take-up of the scheme from the Department of Finance show that, as of April 15, the total expenditure recorded on receipts uploaded was €10.1 million, with total tax credits of €2 million due to taxpayers, and a total of 61,819 receipts were uploaded to Revenue as of April 15.
Hospitality Sector Closures
Less than three weeks after the scheme was launched on October 1, 2020, Ireland's hospitality sector shut down until December due to the implementation of level five COVID-19-related restrictions, and subsequently shut down again soon after reopening in December due to the return of level five restrictions as a result of a high number of COVID-19 cases.
Domestic Trips Taken By Irish Residents Decreased During Second Half Of 2020
The above news follows news from last week that, according to new data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the number of domestic trips taken by Irish residents decreased by 18.6% year-on-year during the second half of 2020.
2021 Staycation Plans
According to The Irish Independent, 73% of the people who participated in a survey commissioned by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) said that they are "proactively" making travel plans for this year, and 44% of the participants said that a staycation is their preferred holiday option for 2021, while 20% of participants said that they are planning to travel overseas this year.
Fáilte Ireland's "Keep Discovering" Campaign"
Addtionally, this week, Fáilte Ireland launched a new domestic marketing campaign called the "Keep Discovering" campaign, the aims of which are to drive domestic holidays for the remainder of the year and help to reboot and rebuild Ireland's tourism industry.
© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.