Written Answers. - Sports Events.

Dick Spring

Question:

852 Mr. Spring asked the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation the financial contribution of the Government to the staging of the Ryder Cup in Ireland in 2005; and the expected increase in tourism revenue leveraged by the event. [1333/99]

Dick Spring

Question:

853 Mr. Spring asked the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation the input, if any, he made to the selection of the Ryder Cup venue for the competition in 2005. [1334/99]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 852 and 853 together.

The agreement concerning the staging in Ireland of the 2005 Ryder Cup, which I signed with the PGA European Tour in August last, provides for a payment of £7.5 million to the tour over the eight year period up to 2005. Of this, the Exchequer, through Bord Fáilte, will contribute £3.9 million, and the three co-sponsors the balance.

While the event itself will undoubtedly contribute significantly to overseas tourism revenues in 2005, the principal benefits of the agreement will flow from the promotional package which is part of the agreement and which extends over eight years. This package represents one of the most intensive and sustained tourist promotion programmes ever undertaken and will, I am confident, advance in an unprecedented way Ireland's position as a golf tourism destination.

The selection of the host course was entirely the responsibility of the European Tour and the Ryder Cup committee.