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Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Dr. Liam Twomey, Finance Spokesperson in the Seanad has welcomed Minister Mary Hanafin’s promise to meet with NAMA to discuss the hotel sector. “The Minister does need to meet with NAMA as it seems that unviable hotels are being kept afloat artificially by being included in NAMA thereby putting more pressure on smaller, family run hotels.”

“There is currently an overcapacity of rooms in Ireland as 25,000 rooms, (40% of the total) were built in the last ten years and therefore it is these “zombie hotels” that are being propped up by NAMA and the tax payer. Despite a decrease in prices, the tourist industry estimates that 45% of rooms are empty on a weekly basis. The Irish Tourist Industry Confederation has shown that expenditure in tourism has fallen to below 2003 levels and that there was a 20% drop in bednights last year. The outlook for 2010 suggests a further reduction in visitors with at least 1.5 million less visitors than three years ago.”

“The tourist industry has been hit hard by the recession and there are fears from those in the industry that market conditions will remain unstable. Tourism is an important part of county Wexford’s economy. Tourist numbers are down, including British tourists due to the travel tax and our reputation of being a poor “value for money” destination. Even though the value has improved, a decrease in the VAT rate on food and accommodation, as proposed at this month’s Borough Council Meeting, would also help to give Ireland’s tourists better value for money.”

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