‘Waiting game for tourism industry’ – Councillor Byrne

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Monday, July 16th, 2018

SDLP Councillor and Vice Chair of ERT Pete Byrne has said the wait is now on for the Autumn Budget as a consultation on Tourism VAT in Northern Ireland closes.

Speaking to Newry Times, Councillor Byrne said, “Following the end of the UK Government’s consultation period on Tourism VAT in the North, those affected in the industry will have to wait and see if a reduction will be included in the Chancellors Budget later this year.



“A cut in Tourism VAT would be a major victory particularly for those in this region who are competing against a 9% rate just over the border.

“A reduction is now more important than ever in the face of Brexit. Such an incentive could see further growth in the industry across the North.”



Commenting on the release of visitor numbers from the Republic of Ireland by Tourism NI, Byrne said, “2017 saw the biggest increase in visitors from the South in many years, up 49% with a total spend of £90 million.

“Newry, Mourne and Down District Council are currently putting in a tremendous effort to attract more visitors from the South and it is great to see overall growth from this market across the North.



He added, “Our promotional campaign agreed earlier this year highlights what is unique about our district. We must continue to sell our region as a wonderful place to come and visit.”



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