Thursday, May 12, 2011
It has been a very good week for tourists hoping to come to Ireland and by extension the beleaguered Irish economy.
Not only will the Airport tax be withdrawn, VAT in tourism is to be reduced to 9% and arguably more significantly, from July, tourists from 14 nations, that up until now required a visa to holiday in Ireland, will not need one as long as they hold a visa to enter Britain.
The change to Ireland's visa regulations will encourage tourists visiting Britain for the Olympics next year to travel on to Ireland. The programme will last from July 2011 until October 2012. It will be reviewed and more countries may be added to the list.
Some of the countries that will be able to avail of the waiver from July include: Russia, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, India, China and Uzbekistan.
The government have stated they expect the new initiative to see an increase of 30,000 visitors to the country.
Currently tourists must fill out forms and this will avoid delays and costs.
Minister Shatter said the visa waiver scheme alone would not transform the tourist industry in Ireland.
Under the programme, nationals of 14 countries - who would normally have to apply and pay for a visa to enter the state at a cost of EUR60 – will be allowed enter Ireland if they have already obtained a short-term visa to enter the UK.
The initiative is expected to come into effect on July 1st, running until the end of October 2012.
Some good news indeed. There has NEVER been a better time to visit Ireland. Everything is cheaper...even the Queen is dropping off in the markets when she visits Dublin next week.
Added to the hottest April since records began, this has been a good couple of months for people visiting Ireland. Check out www.grandcanalhotel.ie for best rates online.