Paul Diver of the Sandouse Hotel
A new report has found that the Donegal hospitality and drinks businesses employ 7,443 people and generate €168 million in revenue for local tourism economy.
Reacting to the report findings, Paul Diver, of the Sandhouse Hotel said the findings underline the huge importance of the sector to Donegal's economy: “This DIGI report clearly shows the huge importance of the hospitality and drinks sector to Donegal’s economy. It supports thousands of jobs and generates millions of euros in revenue for local tourism and suppliers.
“Ireland’s hospitality is a huge draw for tourists. But, with the recent reduction in the value of sterling, we must take action to support the sector and avoid job losses. This requires a reduction in excise tax to make Ireland a better value holiday destination,” he said.
The figures are part of a new report, Ireland’s Hospitality and Drinks Sector and Your Constituency, commissioned by the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI) and authored by Dublin City University economist Anthony Foley.
The report outlines the importance of the drinks and hospitality sector to the overall national economy, and to local economies across the country, particularly in rural Ireland.
However, Ireland’s high alcohol excise tax—the second highest in the EU—is jeopardising the future growth of hospitality and drinks businesses, including those in Donegal, as tourists seek more affordable holiday destinations.
This is particularly the case for British tourists. 40 percent of all visitors to Ireland originate from the UK, but a slump in sterling value following the Brexit referendum has already had a significant impact. Between January and March 2017, 55,300 fewer British tourists travelled to Ireland compared to the same period last year.
The report was launched on Friday to mark the beginning of Support Your Local 2017, a DIGI campaign that seeks to highlight the economic, cultural and social contributions of local pubs, and calls for a reduction in Ireland’s alcohol excise tax.