17 June 2011

The Killarney Chamber of Tourism & Commerce has announced today that visitors in the town can expect to enjoy a saving of 10 million per year in accommodation & dining, under the new 9% VAT rate which will come into effect on July 1st.

Local business organisations have called on all those impacted by the impending VAT reduction to embrace the lower tax rate and give back to consumers in the Killarney area. Supported by the Kerry branch of the Irish Hotels Federation, The Restaurant Association and the local Vintners Federation, the Killarney Chamber of Tourism & Commerce is welcoming the Governments reduction on the VAT rate to 9%, confident that it will help to boost tourism in the town and throughout the country as long as it is supported by the service industry as a whole.

The 10 million savings calculation is based on figures resulting from the 2010 DIT Killarney Visitor Survey, conducted last year, which measured average per capita daily spend as well as annual spend by visitors to the town. Chamber President Tom Randles said "These savings can only be achieved if businesses work together and here in Killarney we have always had a long standing tradition of embracing projects that require us to work together for the greater good of the town. We hope to see our colleagues get behind the Chamber of Tourism & Commerce in being as proactive in this way as they have been in the past".

With many towns yet to embrace the VAT reduction as a whole, the announcement by the Killarney Chamber of Tourism & Commerce is likely to come as welcome news to locals and visitors who have all been affected financially by the country’s current economic crisis.

Conor O Connell, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of The Irish Hotels Federation stated "The new 9% VAT rate is a real way for people to save on the cost of a holiday or short break in Ireland and if embraced by the industry will be particularly effective in encouraging consumers to spend more at home".

Minister for Finance Mr. Michael Noonan announced this temporary reduction in VAT on May 11th as part of the Government jobs initiative. The reduction of the VAT rate from 13.5 % to 9% will apply to hotels and restaurants, as well as service industries such as cinemas, theatres and sporting facilities. Hairdressers are also included, while various printed materials such as brochures and programmes also fall under the new lower rate. The new rate will be effective until the end of December 2013 when it will be reviewed and possibly reversed, unless the Government can see that the industry has embraced the VAT reduction as passed those savings onto the consumer.