The tourism sector has the potential to create 60,000 jobs by 2020 if we continue to invest and focus on what Ireland has to offer. That is according to Ireland South Candidate Deirdre Clune who has been on the road meeting with B & B owners, hoteliers, publicans and those involved in providing for our tourist market.
“Tourism grew by over 7% in 2013. It is one way that we can generate quick job growth in Ireland South. Over 23,000 jobs have been created by the hospitality sector since 2011. The Irish Hotels Federation believe that there is the potential to create a further 60,000 jobs in tourism by 2020.
“We have implemented a number of initiatives at Government level including a 9% lower VAT rate on tourism related industries and a scrapping of the air travel tax. I think that we can improve our connections with regional airports within the European Union to encourage more flight traffic to Shannon, Cork, Waterford and Kerry airports.
“We need to work closely with companies like Ryanair and call on them to deliver on promises that they made. Tourism accounted for 4% of our GNP in 2013. There is the potential to generate 540 million euro in additional annual revenue for the economy by 2020.
“We need to refocus our policy and develop a strategy across Ireland South that will focus on making business easier for the hospitality sector. This means that we need to examine the amount of red tape and regulations that hotels, restaurants and bars have to undertake. We need to ensure that we are targeting specific holiday sectors like cycling holidays, surfing holidays and walking holidays. Further investment in Greenways, cycle paths and community sports and recreational facilities will drive this sector forward.
“The economy is recovering and we are creating jobs but there is the potential to create many more in the tourism sector if we are clever about how we sell Ireland over the next 5 years within a European market that is recovering.