Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Arts, Heritage, Tourism & Sport, Sandra McLellan TD, has today urged the government, “to publish the long awaited review of the state’s tourism policy.”
Speaking in the Dáil during Questions to the Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, McLellan said:
“Tourism continues to play an important role in our economy. It is our heritage and the links the international Irish diaspora have with our country that is the big attraction.
“In 2011, Ireland was voted 'Favourite holiday destination in the World' by readers of Frommer's Guide, Lonely Planet listed Ireland as the world's friendliest country and Cork City as one of the top ten cities in the world and the Irish tourist boards website, DiscoverIreland.com, was named the best tourist board website in the world.
“The industry needs guarantees from the minister that there will be a clear focus on investment in and upgrading of national heritage sites to make them attractive to the domestic and international tourist markets. The industry also needs joined up thinking with the Department of Arts, Heritage & Gaeltacht Affairs.
“A ten year review of the Irish tourism industry in 2003 anticipated that 10 million visitors would visit Ireland on an annual basis by this year.
“On the 11th September 2013, the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport launched a wide- ranging review of Ireland’s tourism policy. Views were requested by Friday 1st November 2013.
“The industry needs to see that report as soon as possible before another tourist season is upon us. The government must publish the review of Ireland’s tourism policy.
“The 10 million figure can be achieved within five years but only if there is a supportive policy environment, a clear business strategy and appropriate investment.”