Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority, yesterday (November 11th) unveiled its 2020 work plans at a major industry event at Croke Park in front of an audience of more than 600 representatives from across the tourism sector.
In his address at the launch, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross T.D. welcomed Fáilte Ireland’s plans for 2020.
“Tourism is an industry that generates €7.5billion in revenue and supports the employment of 260,000 people. Fáilte Ireland’s action plans for 2020 show a robustness and determination to help the industry maintain this significant level of economic activity in challenging times. I am confident the plans and initiatives will provide an assurance to the sector that where growth opportunities exist, they will be exploited,” added Minister Ross.
Activating a new €6million domestic and Northern Ireland marketing campaign; capital investment that will see 25 new and enhanced visitor attractions and activities open; ramping up tourism development plans involving local communities and stakeholders; the establishment of a new sector development division in Fáilte Ireland to drive more Brexit and business supports and the promotion of careers in the tourism sector are just some of the key initiatives Fáilte Ireland will undertake next year to support the tourism industry.
According to Fáilte Ireland CEO Paul Kelly, the 2020 plans are about “helping the industry across the regions to be Brexit ready while developing and supporting a tourism sector that offers strength and sustainability to our economy next year.”
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin T.D. stated:
“The comprehensive plans launched today by Fáilte Ireland quite rightly focus on supporting tourism region by region. With Government support through Project Ireland 2040, Fáilte Ireland can continue to invest next year in visitor attractions and activities that will spread tourist activity across the regions and across all seasons.”
Announcing Fáilte Ireland’s 2020 Action Plans, Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland, said:
“2019 has been a much more mixed year for the tourism industry and as we face into 2020, we’re looking at a challenging year. Our latest research* shows that business sentiment is down, fuelled by rising costs and low-priced competition in the sector. More than half of tourism businesses around the country have seen a decline in business from Britain and Northern Ireland but, while the threats are real, so too are the opportunities.”
“Fáilte Ireland’s focus next year is on helping to sustain and support the tourism industry region by region. In 2020, through the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 programme, we will be investing over €12 million to develop new and improved visitor attractions and activities for our visitors. There is a quiet transformation underway in the experiences we offer our visitors and in 2020, we will see a further 25 enhanced attractions open. Through a €6million targeted domestic and Northern Ireland marketing campaign using world class creatives, we will be telling all the people on our island about these great experiences through our new 2020 home holidays campaign called ‘Keep Discovering’.”
“With a new directorate of Sector Development established within Fáilte Ireland to drive the long-term development of the tourism sector and, as part of the Government’s Getting Ireland Brexit Ready programme, we will be stepping up our business supports and training programmes for the industry. We will also fund a campaign promoting tourism careers to help increase the awareness of students and their parents about the varied and viable career opportunities in tourism. This campaign will help to attract the volume and quality of talent required to sustain growth. Our plans are about building an Ireland where every part of the country is included and the natural inclination of our people to welcome others is translated into jobs and opportunities.”
Fáilte Ireland has set out five key actions planned for 2020 which will leverage all growth opportunities and help the industry to overcome the challenges ahead. These are:
- €6million for a new Domestic and Northern Ireland Marketing Campaign to encourage short break domestic trips
- €12million capital investment for 25 new and enhanced visitor attractions and activities.
- Increased Visitor Experience Development Plans in the regions – working with local stakeholders, tourism businesses and communities, shared long-term tourism plans will be developed to drive visitor numbers to lesser-known areas and attractions.
- New Sector Development division in Fáilte Ireland focusing on Brexit and Business supports and training.
- Campaign promoting Tourism Careers – to shift perceptions and attract the volume and quality of talent required to sustain growth, Fáilte Ireland will invest €500,000 on a new careers promotion campaign starting in January 2020. A digital hub will be created that will act as a one-stop shop for information on courses and careers in Tourism and Hospitality.