There are concerns that hotels are taking advantage of tourists

The government is considering introducing higher tax rates for hotels who overcharge customers.

A special VAT rate of 9% was introduced in 2011 to help the tourism sector to recover after the recession, but according to the Irish Examiner, a higher rate of 13.5% is being proposed for hotels that charge over €150 a night - especially three and four star hotels whose rates would normally be lower.

It comes amidst concerns that many hotels with high occupancy rates are taking advantage of tourists by hiking prices at peak times.

The tourism sector is continuing to boom as the economy grows - with the latest CSO figures showing a 6.7% rise in overseas visitors for the first half of 2018.

The latest proposals would mean a two-tier Vat system for the hotel sector, however the opposition says that scrapping the 9% special rate for hotels would be a disaster with Brexit and other economic challenges looming.