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Tax Code

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 13 March 2012

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Ceisteanna (595)

Timmy Dooley

Ceist:

650 Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his policy regarding the air travel tax; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14076/12]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport)

The Government remains open to the abolition of the Air Travel Tax when conditions are right. The 2011 Jobs Initiative included a three-pronged plan to enhance overseas access and thereby promote inbound tourism through:

abolishing the travel tax conditional on clear commitments by airlines to increase inbound capacity from our source markets;

the introduction of a new growth incentive scheme by the Dublin Airport Authority; and

more targeted co-operative marketing of new routes from key source tourism markets by Tourism Ireland, DAA and the airlines to encourage more tourists to fly into Ireland.

Subsequently, the Government agreed, in the absence of a sufficient response from the airlines, to retain the air travel tax and to avail of part of the receipts from its retention to fund additional cooperative marketing activities. A €9 million overseas tourism marketing campaign over the 2011/12 Autumn/Winter period was led by Tourism Ireland, inclusive of matching funding provided by partner companies, including Ryanair, Aer Lingus and Aer Arann, overseas airlines, tour operators and online travel agents, and ferry companies.

The Government would like to see efforts made by all airlines serving the Irish market to increase capacity on existing inbound routes from key tourism markets and to develop new routes from those markets. There has been some progress on additional access for summer season 2012 and the Government continues to closely monitor the capacity being made available by the airlines, and is keeping the matter of the abolition of the travel tax under review.

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