Brexit and VAT rate the biggest challenges for tourism sector in 2019

Brexit and VAT rate the biggest challenges for tourism sector in 2019
The Irish Tourism Industry Confederation CEO Eoghan O'Mara Walsh

2018 has been a bumper year for tourism in Ireland - but there are warnings that challenges lie ahead.

Ireland earned an estimated €6.9 billion from overseas tourism this year, with 25,000 new tourism jobs created.

The Irish Tourism Industry Confederation predict the sector can increase by between 5% and 7% in 2019.

But their CEO Eoghan O'Mara Walsh insists there will be difficulties in the coming 12 months:

"2019 will be more challenging - we have Brexit coming down the tracks - and that's going to be difficult and challenging for the sector.

"We also have the VAT hike - the tourism VAT rate went from 9% to 13.5% - that kicks in on January 1.

"Generally, the competitiveness of the sector is a something of concern going forward," he added.

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