Tourism Minister Concerned About Rising Hotel Costs

By Dave Simpson
Tourism Minister Concerned About Rising Hotel Costs

Tourism Minister Shane Ross has conveyed concerns about hotels that record "very large profits" being able to avail of the hospitality sector's special 9% VAT rate.

The Irish Independent reports that despite being of the belief that the VAT rate for tourism shouldn't be raised in this year's budget, Ross acknowledged that the rising cost of hotel rooms could adversely affect Ireland's reputation as a tourist destination.

Ross stated: "There is a cause for concern about hotels at the top, who are making large profits, getting 9% VAT, and we'll have to watch that. But, the idea of doing anything about it overall would be very, very difficult to contemplate."

Responding to Ross's concerns, Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons, stated: "It's important to look at the overall package. The cost of getting here is still very good. There is still very good value on the ground, particularly in rural Ireland."

Gibbons did concede, however, that there is cause to be "concerned about accommodation prices in urban areas in the last year or two."