Monday, May 31, 2010

Economics 31/05/2010: How much more evidence do we need?

In the spirit of my earlier posts on the matter - here is today's press release from Ryanair. Let me add, uncontroversially, that I fully subscribe to Ryanair view that our travel tax (defacto assigned in the Irish Times op ed to Gurdgiev-Ryanair [campaign against the] tax, but since then spreading to include on the opposition side all main airlines based in Dublin) has been hurting tourism in Ireland, while imposing an arbitrary, unnecessary and unjustifiable burden on ordinary families here.

RYANAIR BELIEVES IRISH GOVT HAS CAUSED OUR TOURISM COLLAPSE AS GROWTH RETURNS TO OTHER EU COUNTRIES

INDEPENDENT REPORT SHOWS THAT ONLY COUNTRIES WITH TOURIST TAXES CONTINUE TO DECLINE

Ryanair, Ireland’s largest airline, today (31st May) published irrefutable evidence that the Irish Govt is responsible for the collapse in Irish tourism as new (independent) statistics show traffic growth has returned to those EU countries that do not impose tourist taxes. These statistics disprove Minister Dempsey’s claims that the fall in traffic and tourism is ‘an international phenomenon’ and proves that Irish tourism is being devastated by the Govt’s €10 tourist tax.

The RDC Aviation report (attached) highlights that Irish seat capacity (which drives passenger numbers) collapsed by over 140,000 in April and by over 700,000 so far in 2010. Seat capacity continues to decline in Ireland, the UK and France - the only European countries which continue to impose tourist taxes. By contrast, growth has returned to countries which have scrapped tourist taxes (Belgium and Holland) or reduced airport charges, in some cases to zero, (Spain) to stimulate tourism growth.

Ryanair warned that this downward trend at Irish airports will worsen throughout 2010 as the DAA makes Ireland even more uncompetitive with a 40% increase in the airport charges to pay for its €1.2bn T2 white elephant.

RDC Aviation: Irish Airport Capacity Jan-Apr

Year

Seats

2009

5,021,727

2010

4,321,433

Decline

– 700,294

Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara said:

The RDC Aviation report shows that those countries, like Ireland, which impose tourist taxes continue to decline and disproves the Dept of Transport’s claims that the continuing record collapse in traffic at Dublin Airport is ‘an international phenomenon’. The Irish Govt’s €10 tourist tax and high charges at the DAA Monopoly have made Dublin an uncompetitive, expensive destination. Growth has returned throughout Europe except in Ireland, the UK and France which are the only major European countries to tax tourists instead of welcoming them.

“Ireland’s traffic and tourism decline will increase when charges at the DAA Monopoly rocket by over 40% in October as the Dept of Transport rewards the DAA for its traffic decline and the €1.2bn white elephant, T2. Unfortunately 2010 will be even worse than 2009 in terms of lost visitors, jobs and tourism revenues in Ireland. It is time to axe this stupid €10 tourist tax and slash the DAA’s high fees”.

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