The Operational Programme for Tourism aims to attract investment of £652 million for Irish tourism over the period 1994 to 1999, of which £369 million will be provided by the European Union.
Expenditure is taking place under five separate sub-programmes and annual allocations from the European Regional Development Fund/ESF for each as published in the operational programme are given in table 1 of the following tabular statement. These allocations are subject to regular review, in consultation with the European Commission to take account of overall programme performance and actual progress in relation to approved projects. The current position in relation to expenditure, and commitments already entered into in relation to approved projects, under each sub-programme is set out in table 2 of the same tabular statement.
The Operational Programme for Tourism 1994-99, copies of which are available in the Dáil library, was launched in October 1994 outlining in great detail eligible amenities and facilities.
The natural cultural tourism sub-programme is administered by the Department of Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht, and it is designed to make Ireland's heritage and culture more accessible and attractive to overseas visitors through offering assistance towards the development of: national-regional cultural activities; national monuments and historic properties; and natural environment.
The product development sub-programme, with the exception of the tourism angling measure, is administered by Shannon Development in its area and Bord Fáilte for the rest of the country.
The sub-programme is designed to meet the continued growth in international demand for high quality special interest amenities and facilities. Under this sub-programme assistance is available for the development of: large tourism projects; medium size regional projects; tourist information and heritage projects; tourism angling, administered by the Department of the Marine/Central Fisheries Board; special interest holiday facilities; and specialist accommodation-related developments.