The association’s AGM and annual conference starts today in Dublin and chief executive Adrian Cummins is calling on the Government to commit to its promise of supporting the creation of 15,000 additional tourism jobs by 2015. The sector already employs 180,000.
The association wants the Government to retain the tourism VAT rate at 9%, citing the important role it is playing in the sector.
A survey of members found 70% of restaurants believe the reduction in the VAT rate in 2011 helped business, with 30% directly attributing the reduction to hiring new staff.
The average number of new staff hired per premises is two.
Mr Cummins said the association has set out proposals for a “fast-track” chef/restaurant training scheme that will look at the possibility of taking 1,000 people off the Live Register under a work placement scheme.