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The CEO of Shannon International Airport, Failte Ireland's Head of Operations and the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) will attend a tourism trade briefing in Ennis, County Clare tomorrow night.

Coordinated and hosted by the Clare Tourism Forum, the event will include presentations on key issues affecting the tourism sector and Failte Ireland's plans for promoting tourism in the Mid West Region following the restructuring of Shannon Development will be outlined also.

Tourism and hospitality operators will have an opportunity to put questions to a panel of experts featuring Donnagh Gregson (Chair of Clare Tourism Forum), Neil Pakey, (CEO, Shannon International Airport), Fiona Monaghan (Head of Operations, Fáilte Ireland), Tom Coughlan (Clare County Manager), Mary Gleeson (Irish Hotels Federation & Clare Tourism Forum Working Group Member), and Patrick Treacy (Managing Director of Treacy’s West County Hotel).

Speaking ahead of tomorrow night’s briefing Clare Tourism Forum Chair, Donnagh Gregson said: “There is unanimous agreement amongst operators of hospitality and tourism enterprises throughout Ireland that the Government’s decision to preserve the 9% tourism rate will help to sustain the employment in the sector and capitalise on the modest levels of growth being experienced. Furthermore, the retention of the reduced VAT rate will help to maintain the competitiveness of the Irish tourism sector.”

Commenting on the Government’s decision to abolish the Air Travel Tax from April 1st 2014, Ms. Gregson said: “The scrapping of the Air Travel Tax will help Shannon International Airport to consolidate the significant growth that it has experienced since achieving independence from the Dublin Airport Authority earlier this year. The expansion of transatlantic services at Shannon Airport in recent months along with the scrapping of the Air Travel Tax bodes well for the airport and the tourism sector as efforts continue to establish new routes to European destinations. The removal of the travel tax will also reduce the cost of travelling to Ireland by air.”

“This briefing is open to anyone involved in the tourism and hospitality sector and will provide an update on the actions being taken both at local and national level to further strengthen the tourism sector. Furthermore, tourism interests in Clare will be eager to hear about the plans Failte Ireland has for the development and marketing of the local tourism sector following the restructuring of Shannon Development’s tourism responsibilities earlier this year,” Ms. Gregson added.

The Tourism Trade Briefing, hosted by Clare Tourism Forum, takes place tomorrow (Wednesday 16th October) at 6.30pm in Treacy’s West County Hotel, Ennis.