Senator Catherine Noone has today called on Dublin hoteliers and restaurateurs to “rein in the excessive price gouging and start offering value for money again” following yesterday’s decision by the Web Summit to relocate to Lisbon, which could potentially cost the Dublin economy up to €100m. Many analysts cited price competitiveness as one of the factors affecting this decision.
Speaking on the matter, Senator Noone said: “Despite the temporary VAT cut from the Government from 2012 until today, we have seen restaurant prices and hotel prices surge across the capital right throughout the year, whether at peak times or otherwise, and it’s clear that consumers just are not getting value for money, and cost competitiveness is becoming a real issue for Dublin”.
Senator Noone continued: “It is a real shame, as the VAT cut was one of a number of initiatives (including ending the Fianna Fail-imposed travel tax) from this Government to increase tourism, which has seen us break record after record for tourist numbers, as we eliminated one of the main negative perceptions of Ireland during the Celtic Tiger years: price gouging. Yet, now, we are reaching a point once again where tourists and locals alike simply feel like they are not getting value for money, and many venues have started to chance their arm when it comes to pricing”.
Senator Noone added: “I am calling on the representative bodies in these sectors to take responsibility, start speaking to their members in an honest way, and start outlining why this kind of short-term thinking will, ultimately, lead to problems for the restaurant sector, the hotel sector and the tourism sector in years ahead unless it is addressed soon. The Web Summit loss isn’t the end of the world, but it is a canary in the coalmine that shows we need to regain competitiveness, and need to ensure we don’t lose out any further”.