Dublin City Council's decision to increase commercial rates by almost 3% has been called excessive and ill-advised by the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF).
The IHF said that hoteliers in Dublin and across the country are already facing significant challenges to sustain the growth in tourism of recent years, with a softening in visitor numbers from key markets and increasing concerns about reduced competitiveness.
"Extremely Short Sighted"
IHF president Michael Lennon stated, "We're willing to pay a fair and reasonable rate, but not excessive and disproportionate levies. Over 75% of overseas tourists visit Dublin, making it a vital tourism gateway and a significant contributor to an industry that accounted for €9.42 billion in revenue in 2018. This increase will further reduce competitiveness at a time when tourism is already facing significant challenges due to increases in the cost of doing business and the hike in tourism VAT. This was highlighted in the latest Crowe Ireland Annual Hotel Survey, which showed that many costs are increasing faster than the underlying growth in revenues.
"The government has to do more to tackle the costs that are stifling businesses. We have an unacceptable situation here in Dublin where, with the stroke of a pen and without consultation, Dublin City Council is dealing businesses a damaging body blow that will further undermine competitiveness. The move by Dublin City Council is extremely short sighted and jeopardises the sustained growth of the tourism sector."
© 2019 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.