The three principal agencies operating under the aegis of my Department which disburse funds to tourism related projects are Bord Fáilte, Shannon Development and CERT, the financial allocations in respect of which are contained in the annual Estimates for Public Services.
My Department serves as lead Department for the Operational Programme for Tourism under which EU grant assistance is provided to develop Irish tourism over the period 1994-99. Following approval of grant applications by independent management boards, Bord Fáilte and Shannon Development make European Regional Development Fund funding available for product development and marketing. In addition, CERT provides some ESF funding to the private sector for training initiatives to complement training provided directly by CERT.
The Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands is the implementing agency for the sub-programme for the development of natural and cultural tourism and the Department of the Marine and Natural Resources implements the tourism angling measure.
The main co-ordinating mechanism for these agencies and their expenditures under the operational programme is the national monitoring committee which is chaired by my Department and on which all the relevant Departments and State agencies are represented.