Re-introduction of Stay and Spend scheme and extra bank holiday may be considered to boost sector

The Stay and Spend scheme allowed people to claim tax back on money they had spent on accommodation or indoor dining.
Re-introduction of Stay and Spend scheme and extra bank holiday may be considered to boost sector

Paschal Donohoe believes the Stay and Spend scheme is not needed this summer due to pent up demand but says it could return when business dies down.

The Government may consider bringing back the Stay and Spend scheme later this year, according to the Finance Minister.

The initiative allowed people to claim tax back on money they had spent on accommodation or indoor dining.

It was shut down after only a few weeks as Covid-19 case numbers surged.

Paschal Donohoe believes the scheme is not needed this summer due to pent up demand but says it could return when business dies down.

Mr Donohoe said that when people are able to go on international holidays and we reach the off-peak season for tourism in Ireland, there may be a case for looking at ways to encourage people to spend time and money in Ireland.

Meanwhile, the Taoiseach has said he will consider having an extra bank holiday this year as a boost to tourism.

Former Minister Brendan Griffin has called on the government to approve a new bank holiday at the end of September.

This is not the first time Mr Griffin has floated the idea of an additional bank holiday to boost the struggling tourism and hospitality sector.

He previously raised the idea last May as part of a proposed rescue package.

In October of last year, the Tourism Recovery Taskforce also called for the introduction of an extra bank holiday in the off-season. This was broadly welcomed by industry figures.

Addressing the idea of the new bank holiday previously, Micheál Martin said it was one of a number of ideas which could be looked at in order to recognise the work of people during the pandemic.

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