IHF: Budget will 'get country back on its feet'

The Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) welcomed today's Budget saying it "represents a decisive approach to getting the country back on its feet".

Commenting on Budget 2010, Matthew Ryan, President, Mr Ryan said: "We welcome the acknowledgement by Government of the important role of tourism in the economy.

"We welcome measures including maintaining funding in the level of tourism marketing, a new voucher scheme to enable discounted travel for senior citizens from abroad and a reduction in excise duty on alcohol products which will assist our sector going forward.

"Overall, the budget represents a decisive approach to getting the country back on its feet and restoring confidence in the economy both nationally and internationally."

The IHF welcomed the Government’s "creative response" to expanding Ireland’s tourism attractiveness by providing overseas citizens over 66 years of age with vouchers for reduced travel costs on rail services within the country.

The IHF specifically welcomed the Government’s 2% increase to €155m in its tourism services budget and in particular the provision of €44.25m for tourism marketing which will be used to promote Ireland as a destination both internationally and domestically.

They described it as "a key objective to regain lost ground", particularly in the British market.

"The tourism product development fund of €22m is also an important investment to reinvigorate tourism attractions throughout the country."

They said that "enormous inefficiencies exist among local authorities" which is having a "disastrous, knock-on impact on rates levied against businesses".

However they did say that there is an urgent need to address "the inequities on the rates and charges being levied on the hotel and guesthouse sector".

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