Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority, has unveiled its 2020 work plans at a major industry event at Croke Park in front of an audience of more than 600 representatives from across the tourism sector.
Fáilte Ireland’s far-reaching plans for the new decade include an all year-round €6m domestic and Northern Ireland marketing cCampaign; €12 million capital investment to open 25 improved visitor attractions and activities; over 20 local visitor experience development plans; a new Sector Development Division to drive more Brexit and business supports and a €500,000 tourism careers promotion campaign.
In his address at the launch, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross T.D. welcomed Fáilte Ireland’s plans for 2020, stating:
Tourism is an industry that generates €7.5billion in revenue and supports the employment of 260,000 people. Fáilte Ireland’s action plans for 2020 show a robustness and determination to help the industry maintain this significant level of economic activity in challenging times. I am confident the plans and initiatives will provide an assurance to the sector that where growth opportunities exist, they will be exploited.”
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin T.D. stated:
The comprehensive plans launched today by Fáilte Ireland quite rightly focus on supporting tourism region by region. With Government support through Project Ireland 2040, Fáilte Ireland can continue to invest next year in visitor attractions and activities that will spread tourist activity across the regions and across all seasons.”
According to Fáilte Ireland CEO Paul Kelly, the 2020 plans are about “helping the industry across the regions to be Brexit-ready while developing and supporting a tourism sector that offers strength and sustainability to our economy next year.”
Speaking at the launch he said:
2019 has been a much more mixed year for the tourism industry and as we face into 2020, we’re looking at a challenging year. Our latest research shows that business sentiment is down, fuelled by rising costs and low-priced competition in the sector. More than half of tourism businesses around the country have seen a decline in business from Britain and Northern Ireland but, while the threats are real, so too are the opportunities.”
Mr Kelly also spoke of the new directorate of Sector Development established within Fáilte Ireland, which will drive the long-term development of the tourism sector. Fáilte Ireland also plans to fund a campaign promoting tourism careers to help increase the awareness of students and their parents about the varied and viable career opportunities in tourism. This campaign will help to attract the volume and quality of talent required to sustain growth.
Mr Kelly said, “Our plans are about building an Ireland where every part of the country is included and the natural inclination of our people to welcome others is translated into jobs and opportunities.”