Belfast Telegraph

Call for 5% VAT rate on tourism tax in Northern Ireland

Michael McHugh

Tourism tax in Northern Ireland should be cut to 5%, hoteliers said.

The relatively high VAT rate of 20% puts the region at a disadvantage compared to other regions.

A reduction would stimulate the industry and leave it well positioned to benefit from strengthening consumer and business confidence in the UK economy, the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation (NIHF) added.

A report for the Federation said: "Lowering the VAT rate could make Northern Ireland a more accessible destination for tourists."

The 139 hotels in Northern Ireland brought in £340 million in revenue last year.

The report, Tourism 2020 – Investing In Our Future, said tourism could double its contribution to GDP to £1bn in tourism spend.

More tourism will mean more construction, increased retail spending and greater demand.

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