Sterling Down Drives Visitors Up

Sterling Down Drives Visitors Up

25 August 2017

Statement from Colin Neill, CEO of Hospitality Ulster:

"Recent statistics show that there has been a significant increase in visitors coming to Northern Ireland from the Republic of Ireland as the euro gained strength against sterling. In the first quarter of 2017 there was a double-digit increase in overnight visitors from the south"

"This shows is that the value offering is key when it comes to attracting visitors to Northern Ireland. But the hospitality and tourism sector in Northern Ireland can’t rely on currency fluctuations, which by their very nature are vulnerable to swings.

Hospitality Ulster has consistently called for a cut in the tourism VAT rate in Northern Ireland, which is 20%, to at least match that in the Republic of Ireland, which is 9%. We are also contending with outdated Easter licensing laws and Air Passenger Duty, which also put us at a competitive disadvantage. These two issues also need reformed."