Sinn Féin spokesperson on Tourism Imelda Munster TD has said it is important that the Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin TD takes action regarding price gouging by some hotels, mainly in the Dublin area.
Teachta Munster raised the matter with the Minister at a meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Tourism.
Teachta Munster said:
“The Minister spoke today about the importance of sustainable tourism and a good summer season ahead – well the prices that are being charged at the moment by hotels are absolutely not sustainable, and tourism won’t be booming for long if this rip-off continues.
“We’ve all heard stories of outrageous prices for hotel rooms – one family with four children were quoted over €800 to stay one night in a hotel recently with no breakfast. It’s scandalous.
“Hotels were supported by the public and by the government throughout the pandemic, and as soon as the going got good, the rip-off began.
“I raised this with the Minister today, particularly the reputational damage that it will cause to our tourism brand. And hotels and other businesses in the tourism sector outside of the major cities who are not price-gouging will pay the price of this damage.
“I also asked her about the wisdom of extending the 9% VAT rate for these hotels – the taxpayer is clearly not getting the benefit of it and demand is obviously not a problem.
“Minister Martin agreed that this may cause serious reputational damage, and with regards to the reduced VAT rate, she said that no potential options should be off the table.
“I’m asking Minister Martin to stand by her remarks today and ensure that she does everything in her power in her engagements with the hotel sector to ensure that this price-gouging is stopped.
“She is responsible for tourism – the sector has gone through enough in the last two years and a small number of greedy businesses cannot be let to ruin the reputation of our tourism brand both at home and abroad.”