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Tourist tax in Galway hotels would be a “cheap shot”


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Tourist tax in Galway hotels would be a “cheap shot” Tourist tax in Galway hotels would be a “cheap shot”

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A hotel room tax would make Galway a less competitive destination for international tourists, according to one of the city’s leading hoteliers.

John Ryan, owner of the Ardilaun Hotel and Chair of the Irish Hotels Federation Galway Branch, described recent agitation for the introduction of a tourist tax as “a cheap shot” that would generate little income for local authorities, but hit the pockets of tourists.

Mr Ryan told the Galway City Tribune that at a time when Ireland was seeking to compete with every other country in Europe for tourists, adding a tax on every hotel night was “sending out the wrong message”.

“Tourists are hugely valuable to Galway and bring a huge amount of business here. Outside of agriculture, tourism is our biggest indigenous industry and as we try to recover from Covid, as an industry we don’t need any additional barriers,” said Mr Ryan.

This follows moves by members of Dublin City Council this week to push for a 1% levy on each hotel night which they argue would raise €12 million for the Council coffers.

The Tax and Welfare Commission has reportedly told the Department of Finance that an extra charge on tourists would alleviate the burden on local authorities providing services to facilitate their stay.

Galway City Council previously heard calls for such a move when it was estimated that a charge of €2 per night could generate €1.25 million annually for the local authority – and that was at around 60% occupancy.

The proposal stalled, however, as it became clear that national legislation would be required to collect such a levy.

Green Party members of Dublin City Council backed a hotel room tax, but local Green Party Senator, Pauline O’Reilly, said it wasn’t the right time to introduce a charge in Galway.

This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the January 20 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism by buying a digital edition HERE.

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