The Tourism Minister has issued a stern warning to all involved in the tourism trade: give the consumer the benefit of recent Government cost reductions, or those reductions could be reversed in next December's budget.
Speaking in his native Westport, Co. Mayo, Minister for State Michael Ring said that "the Government has played its part by reducing VAT and PRSI, but those benefits must now be passed onto the customer. If not, we will look at reversing those decisions in our next budget in December."
Mr Ring was speaking at the eleventh annual Mayo World Convention, which has attracted influential business and community leaders from all over the world.
He added: "The purpose of our recent initiatives for the tourism industry is to make it attractive for people to come and visit this country. But it will only have the desired impact if everyone involved in the trade passes the savings onto the tourists.
"We must improve our competitiveness so that people will find it easy to come here and enjoy what Ireland has to offer. This is a wonderful tourist location, but we can never lose sight of competitiveness."
Mr Ring paid tribute to all who helped to showcase Ireland during the recent visits of Queen Elizabeth and Barack Obama. "That was a huge effort by everyone involved, including An Garda Siochana and the Irish Army, and we showed the world what we're made of. The spirit shown over the past fortnight is the spirit that will develop this country's tourism industry and help to rebuild Ireland's economy."
The Convention takes place over the entire weekend in Hotel Westport
Key points from this weekend's Convention
- President Mary McAleese performs the official opening of the Mayo Worldwide Convention on Saturday, May 28th, at 11.30am
- An Taoiseach Enda Kenny will be guest of honour at the gala dinner on Saturday night. At 7.15 on Saturday evening, he will review a Naval Guard of Honour at Hotel Westport, Westport.
- Workshops throughout Saturday are open, and free of charge, to members of the public and media. A full programme of events is attached.
- Delegates have travelled from New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Toronto, London, Manchester, Leeds, Luton, Calderdale (UK), Coventry, Australia, Galway, Dublin, Sligo and Limerick.
History of the Mayo Worldwide Convention
- This is the eleventh worldwide Mayo Convention
- The first one was held in 1990 in Westport, Co. Mayo
- Conventions have also been held in Westport, Ballina, Castlebar, Manchester, Toronto, Buenos Aires, Boston, and Philadelphia