Fine Gael Dublin Senator, Catherine Noone, has today (Friday) welcomed the latest CSO figures, which show that spend by visitors from our long-haul markets is up a massive 33% for the first half of this year.
“The additional €47 million which has been raised as a result of the increase in tourism is being pumped into our local towns, villages and cities right across the country, and is making a real difference to national tourism and employment. Clearly, a number of this Government’s budget measures – such as the reduction in VAT in the tourism sector and the scrapping of the Fianna Fáil-introduced tax on travel – have paid off in a big way.
“However, we can’t let this slip now or let the growth plateau. I am delighted to see Tourism Ireland and our new Minister for Tourism, Paschal Donohue, continuing to pursue ambitious targets and goals for 2015 and beyond.
“I believe that we must work in a cohesive fashion with Tourism Ireland, Ryanair and Aer Lingus to remove any barriers that stand in the way of unlocking more routes, particularly from long-haul markets which, right now, are proving hugely successful for Ireland.
“These growth figures are, in some markets, our best ever figures. This follows on from extremely positive tourism figures in 2012 and 2013. We should be proud of how many people want to visit Ireland, and we must make sure that as many people as possible have the opportunity in the years ahead”.