This development will allow the restaurant & tourism sector to grow, especially at a time when visiting tourist numbers are increasing and the country is trying to create jobs.
VFI Chief Executive Padraig Cribben welcomed the announcement.
“This announcement is a boost to those involved in the hospitality and tourism sector and is a fillip for our 4,500 members. While this VAT rate does not apply to drink, the vast majority of our members are now providing a considerable food offering in their pubs. This is a welcome stimulus and good news when set against recent announcements surrounding austerity.
“Only last year, Lonely Planet announced the Irish pub as the number one tourist attraction in Ireland and decisions like this by Minister Varadkar will only reinforce the belief that is out there that the Irish pub is a great option for domestic and overseas visitors for food, socialising, music, a drink or two and of course value-for-money,” he stated.
“I am happy to see that the Minister and the rest of his colleagues in this government have noticed how much the tourism industry means to the country,” commented RAI Chief Executive Adrian Cummins, “With the reduction in VAT for restaurants and tourism services, operating costs can be lowered and more people could be employed in this sector.
“The next 18 months or so is an important time for our sector with The Gathering taking place throughout 2013 and also other important events to take place nationwide, including The Heineken Cup,” he concluded.
“In recent years, perceptions of the value available here among overseas consumers have improved” commented Tourism Ireland Chief Executive Niall Gibbons, “and we know that a recent survey by Hotels.com showed that Dublin hotels are now the least expensive in Europe. Tourism Ireland is placing significant emphasis on value, to drive home to potential holidaymakers everywhere our message about the superb range of offers and value available in Ireland.”