Ritchie calls for debate on Tourism VAT rate
“Tourism is at the heart of our economy, whether for St Patrick in South Down, the Titanic Centre in Belfast or the City of Culture celebrations in Derry and we should be doing more to build on recent achievements to develop growth in the sector.
“Our businesses are faced with stiff competition against the lower rate of VAT in the South of Ireland, the value of which was demonstrated by the Irish Government’s decision to retain this rate for another year. Unfortunately the UK Government have not made similar decisions and as a result our local industry is not growing as quickly as it could be. A shared lower rate of VAT for tourism products would boost hotels, restaurants and the whole economy in the North and across Ireland.
“The reality is that most visitors choose to visit Ireland and are oblivious to the border - our policy decisions need to reflect that to develop a more a comprehensive tourism strategy that utilises our island economy.”