General Industry

Tourism Chief Urge State to Invest in Ireland

By Steve Wynne-Jones
Tourism Chief Urge State to Invest in Ireland

The Irish Tourist Industry Confederation has called on the Irish Government to invest more money into marketing Ireland as a place to visit.

The tourism body has said that the decreased spend in overseas marketing - which chairman Paul Gallagher said has dropped by 40 per cent over the last seven years - will hurt Ireland in the long run.

According to the Irish Times, the confederation called on Minister for Finance Michael Noonan to reinvest at least one per cent of export earnings on a capital spending programme for tourism over the next five years.

In its pre-budget submission the group also urged the Minister to keep the hospitality VAT rate nine per cent and introduce reforms to income tax and and USC.

According to Gallagher, the decrease in overseas marketing has led to a decrease in spontaneous recall - the ability of a person to name a 'brand' without prompting - in key markets such as the UK, US and Germany, where Ireland respectively ranked seventh, eight and ninth most recalled destination. This will hurt the country's chances of reaching its 10 million visitors and €5 billion in spending a year by 2025, he claims.

Tourism has already generated over 30,000 jobs since 2011 and has the capacity to deliver a further 30,000 by 2025 as outlined in the Government’s tourism policy document,” said Gallagher, adding: “but only if the policy aspirations are underpinned by adequate investment in produce and overseas marketing.