The increase in the VAT rate for the tourism and hospitality sectors from 9% to 13.5% is very disappointing, according to the Mayo branch of the Irish Hotels Federation.

It's been described as a serious blow to the tourism industry, particularly in rural Ireland, as businesses outside of Dublin will be hardest hit.

The 9% VAT rate was introduced in 2011, but is being raised now to pay for other social demands.

Darren Madden, manager of the Clew Bay Hotel in Westport, is chairman of the Mayo branch of the Irish Hotels Federation and he's calling on the Finance Minister to delay the increase in VAT until after next Summer.

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