(What are we) waiting (for?)

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What with the late start to the Summer weather, the Local Property Tax due payment date (& the adding to it of last year’s uncollected Household Property Charge plus penalties) coupled with further restrictions in the offing in regard to the sale of alcohol, there’s not much to feel happy about these days.



17 May 2013

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But if you’re looking for the silver lining, Fáilte Ireland’s Visitor Attitudes Survey on tourism perceptions of value-for-money makes brighter reading. It’s latest findings point to a reversal of our image as ‘rip-off’ Ireland and instead can announce that Ireland now receives net positive ratings across all key markets in providing value-for-money to overseas tourists with approval ratings not seen here for over 10 years!

Good news indeed with four in 10 overseas visitors raging us as ‘good’ to ‘very good’ value-for-money in 2012. Those disappointed in us and thus ticking the ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ value-for-money box amounted to 17% but this figure still rates substantially less than the bruising 41% figure back in 2009.

This comes just in time then for ‘The Gathering’ (you might add) when value-for-money has never been more important.
With 5,000 extra jobs being created in the tourism and hospitality sector last year, one therefore wonders what more stimulus the Government needs to set about helping the drinks industry to produce further employment in this sector, for to date they’ve come out of the traps with precious little.

As we learn in this month’s interview with VFI President Gerry Rafter, the Government could be doing more for the industry – or even something.

“The way to help the pub trade is to have the Government get up off their backsides and do something about the minimum price of alcohol, segregation of alcohol in supermarkets and price-based advertising as well as limiting the massive availability of cheap alcohol that’s doing serious harm to our young population.”

In this, the year of The Gathering, wouldn’t it be nice of the posturing stopped and practical measures that both reduce alcohol abuse and boost employment in the ailing pub trade could be run-in together?

After all, the Irish pub remains a fantastic place to be, as acknowledged by our tourists making it top of their visit wish-list when travelling here and Fáilte Ireland’s own acknowledgement that the Irish pub is an important part of the tourism economy.

What are we waiting for chaps?



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