The total allocation for tourism services announced in budget 2009 is €161 million. The maintenance of this significant allocation for tourism services in 2009 reflects the Government's continuing commitment to the development of tourism. Although there will be marginal reductions in the budgets of the principal tourism agencies, Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland, these should be largely absorbed by savings in pay, overheads, consultancy and non-programme advertising.
The tourism marketing fund for 2009 is €48.5 million, which is the same as the amount available for frontline international marketing activities in 2008. The total is slightly reduced because of once-off expenditure in 2008 on the development of advertising and promotional materials relating to the Tourism Ireland brand. The allocation for 2009 will enable the tourism agencies, in partnership with industry interests, to continue the Super Regions campaign as well as Discover Ireland's Wonderful West campaign, in line with the commitment given in the Shannon Airport catchment area economic and tourism development plan. Furthermore, given the overall economic climate, the tourism agencies should also be in a position to negotiate better value in terms of advertising and marketing space.
Fáilte Ireland's allocation of nearly €81 million will, in addition to funding its operations, assist tourism development through business supports and training in conjunction with funding festivals, sports tourism events and domestic marketing. In 2009, capital funding of €11 million is being provided to support investment in key tourism infrastructure, attractions and visitor facilities. The allocation for 2009 reflects a careful assessment of the range and quality of applications under Fáilte Ireland's tourism capital investment programme in addition to the anticipated draw-down of funds by approved projects in the coming year. More broadly, the thrust of the Government's budgetary strategy is right for tourism, as it is for other sectors. It will bring order and stability to our public finances and will enhance our productive capacity.
In the current difficult international economic environment, the Government has had to make some difficult decisions, both in prioritising expenditure and raising revenue through changes to taxation. In anticipation of the imminent publication of the Finance Bill by my colleague, the Minister for Finance, Deputy Brian Lenihan, it would not be appropriate for me to discuss the implementation of taxation measures that will shortly be considered by the Oireachtas. I am confident the overall approach in budget 2009 will help the tourism industry, with the other sectors of the economy, to return to sustainable growth in the medium term.