Campaigning by airlines and the tourist industry prompted the Irish government's decision to drop its air passenger tax, Leo Varadkar, the minister for tourism in Ireland told ABTN.
The current €3 tax will be dropped between July and October this year, Varadkar confirmed.
“We decided that it wasn’t a good idea to tax people to come in and out of an island,” he said.
A fall in passenger numbers for the island of Ireland from 9 million to less than 7 million also necessitated “urgent action”, said Varadkar.
However, the move is conditional on airlines bringing in more passengers.
“What we’re looking for from the airline is a bit of quid pro quo,” said the tourism minister.
“We’re not going to just reduce the tax if they won’t help us in increasing capacity and increasing routes that were cut during the recession.”
Varadkar said that he hoped airlines would bring in more business travellers, with corporate travel viewed as a growth sector for Ireland.
The opening of Dublin's first convention centre last year has already proved a draw, said Varadkar, and the second terminal at Dublin airport is up and running.
For business travellers, the faltering economy had seen an upside, he said, as eating out and entertaining has seen a “down-ward adjustment in prices.”
Dublin “was actually an expensive country to visit two or three years ago,” he said, but now “hotels too are much cheaper than they were before.”
“What’s on offer for the business traveller is much better to what was there before both in terms of facilities and price,” added Varadkar.