Impact of the tourism VAT increase and Brexit to be discussed at a major tourism forum in Killarney

Photographed left to right is Margaret O'Conor, Head of Business Banking AIB Kerry, Ciara O'Grady, Lets Talk Tourism, Michael Rosney, Skal International, Niamh O'Shea IHF Kerry, Joan McCarthy, Kerry County Council and Paul O'Neil Killarney Chamber of Commerce and Tourism. Photograph by Sally MacMonagle

The impact of the tourism VAT increase and Brexit will be discussed at a major gathering of tourism industry professionals in Kerry.

The third annual Let’s Talk Tourism forum will take place in Killarney on November 9th.

The event will hear that hotels, restaurants and hospitality businesses will feel the brunt of the 4.5% hike in tourism VAT imposed in the budget.

Among the items up for discussion at the forum are the VAT rate, the impact of Brexit, learning from other markets, strategies for sustainable growth and the opportunities presented by the markets in China.

International tourism analyst Noel Sweeney says this VAT hike will lead to a “double whammy” for already hard-hit businesses who are facing into the uncertainty of Brexit and the impact it will have on their trade.

Mr Sweeney will be one of the keynote speakers at the third annual forum in Killarney.

Other speakers addressing the forum include OBE Deirdre Wells, of the UK Tourism Industry Council and CEO of UKinbound; Fáilte Ireland CEO Paul Kelly; Tourism Northern Ireland chief John McGrillen; Ryanair’s Peter Bellew; Mark Henry of Tourism Ireland; Yvonne Holmes, of AIB and Minister of State for Tourism Brendan Griffin.