The incoming president of the Irish Hotels Federation has called for a €300 million investment into tourism, to ensure sustainability in the country.
Joe Dolan, owner of the Bush Hotel in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim, warned that the current recovery in the market is largely due to external factors such as currency fluctuations, and would need more investment for future years.
Dolan called for a five-year programme with a budget of €300 million to develop Ireland's tourism products. “I know it is a big ask but there is a proven, clear return. For every €1 spent on marketing there is a €34 return,” he said.
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While acknowledging there has been a recovery, he added that it has been "non-uniform" and rural regions still struggle to attract tourists, the Irish Times reports.
“Unfortunately, recent growth in visitors has not been spread evenly across the country and many rural tourism businesses continue to face tough trading conditions” he said.
Joe Dolan replaces outgoing IHF president Stephen McNally, who served in the role since 2014. Dolan previously served as vice-president, and is a former director of Fáilte Ireland North West.