Extending The Welcome
Labour’s Proposals to Sustain and Develop the Tourism Industry

Issued : Sunday 23 May, 2010

Extending The Welcome

Tourism sustains jobs at every skill level, and in every corner of the country. This is Labour's strategy for regaining Ireland's traditional strength in this sustainable domestic industry.

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Ireland has a strong tourism product, but we have lost our competitive edge in recent years. We need a fresh approach to providing tourist infrastructure, new ways of using Information Communication Technology (ICT) to enhance visitors' stay here, and a joined-up approach to finding new markets. For example:

  • Target the over-60s market with a free travel scheme for every visitor over 66 at off peak times on all CIE services (from within CIE's existing budget), and develop our coach tourism infrastructure.
  • Initiate new marketing campaigns in emerging long haul markets such as China, Eastern Europe, India, Japan and the Middle East. Complement this with a broader translation policy and a reformed tourist visa process.
  • Develop new web-based tools like an interactive Irish tourism application for iPhones etc.; and targeted websites like a Surf Ireland or a Golf Ireland web portal.
  • Prioritise 'event tourism', with strategic planning and funding to major international fairs and events to Ireland such as the Volvo Ocean Race or the Solheim Cup.
  • Ensure a joined-up approach between government agencies and the private sector when attracting large conferences to Ireland, so that business tourists are encouraged to prolong their stay in Ireland and to explore our cities and beyond.
  • Create more opportunities for the domestic tourism market by making Culture Night a twice-yearly event, in the autumn and the spring.

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