At least half of the €250 million of expenditure that the Government has allocated to tourism should be ringfenced for the west of Ireland, according to a report by the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC).
The industry body has urged the Government to se aside at least €125 million "for the period 2016 to 2020" for the region in its document Tourism in the West – an Engine for Growth and Jobs.
The tourism industry, it says, is worth €2.6 billion to the western seaboard and employs over 100,000 people. Investing in the region's tourism makes sense as it is creating jobs and bringing in money, one of the few sectors doing so, says the confederation.
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Tourism accounts for 15 per cent of all business in Mayo, Clare, Sligo, Galway and Limerick, compared to 10 per cent along the east coast, as reported in the Irish Times.
Infrastructure, it argues, is the main barrier to improving the region as an attractive place for tourists to visit. The majority of travellers who visit the west fly in through Dublin Airport.
The Wild Atlantic Way initiative has been a success for the region, however the ITIC says it can become a destination for tourists that offers a wider experience for those visiting.