ITIC has called for a redesign and broadening of the Government’s 'Stay and Spend' initiative, after figures from Revenue showed just €2.2m has been reclaimed by consumers
Valued at €270m, 'Stay and Spend' was launched as the main tourism aid in the July stimulus package in a bid to promote consumer spending in the hospitality sector.
It was capped at €625 per customer and allowed the user to reclaim that amount spent in restaurants and hotels through their tax returns.
However, just 14,000 receipts have been redeemed through Revenue thus far, justifying initial criticism according to industry group the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation .
ITIC CEO Eoghan O’Mara Walsh said despite level-5 restrictions hampering recent movement, people could still book for future use until the scheme is due to close at the end of April.
He said the complicated nature of the scheme is the main reason for its poor levels of usage.
ITIC wants Stay and Spend relaunched as a voucher scheme, its lifespan extended out to next summer and its uses broadened to include visitor attractions and activity breaks.
“From the outset, the industry felt the design of the stay and spend scheme was flawed and the update proves that," Mr O'Mara Walsh said.