Record tourism year in prospect for 2016
The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross TD, today met with the CEO of Tourism Ireland, Niall Gibbons to assess the prospects for tourism in the context of Brexit.
Minister Ross said:
“I had a very positive meeting with the CEO of Tourism Ireland Niall Gibbons. We reviewed the very strong performance to date in 2016 from all of Ireland’s source market regions. We also examined the plans that are in place to address the consequences of Brexit for the tourism industry in Ireland.”
A number of measures in Budget 2017 will support Ireland’s tourism sector in responding effectively to the challenges of Brexit, including the retention of the 9% VAT Rate in tourism.
Minister Ross continued:
“We are closely monitoring developments in the British outbound tourism market. As our closest neighbour and our largest source market for overseas visits, Great Britain will remain a priority market. In parallel with that, a review of new and developing tourism markets is underway and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2017.
“However, the immediate challenge to Ireland’s tourism sector arising from the Brexit vote is the rapid decline in the value of Sterling which could potentially damage the competitiveness of the tourism industry. It is imperative that the tourism industry examines current pricing levels to ensure that Ireland’s competitive position is maintained.”
Speaking after the meeting, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said:
“I was delighted to have the opportunity to meet with Minister Ross today, to discuss the tourism year to date and Tourism Ireland’s plans for the rest of 2016. Most importantly we discussed Brexit and its implications for Irish tourism, in advance of next week’s Export Trade Council meeting.
“Our aim is to ensure that 2016 is another record-breaking year for Irish tourism. We have an extensive programme of promotions happening between now and the end of the year, to boost business in the shoulder and off-peak season. This includes a major presence at World Travel Market in London, the largest B2B event in the global travel calendar; a sales mission to Australia and New Zealand; and a ‘Jump into Ireland’ travel trade and media blitz on the west coast of the US”.