Wednesday, 25 February 2004

Questions (31)

Jim O'Keeffe

Question:

110 Mr. J. O’Keeffe asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the outcome of the review into the performance of Tourism Ireland; and the main changes proposed arising from the review. [5970/04]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism)

As there has not been a formal review into the performance of Tourism Ireland as mentioned by the Deputy, I assume that the Deputy is referring to the Tourism Ireland organisation review.

When the overall staffing structures of Tourism Ireland Ltd. were originally agreed, the company undertook to carry out an organisational review based on the experience of its first two years in operation. The stated aim of that review was to ensure that Tourism Ireland's organisation, structures and staffing were in line with its agreed strategy, policies and priorities. In that context, it has considered its structures, staffing and gradings including the number, location and staff complement of overseas offices. At its meeting in June 2001, the North-South Ministerial Council noted that this review would be undertaken.

It is clear, therefore, that the review, which, I understand, is in the process of finalisation, is an internal day-to-day issue for Tourism Ireland Ltd. Should there be outcomes from the review, which, to be implemented, would require the sanction of my Department and the corresponding Department in Northern Ireland, no doubt they will be put before the Departments in due course. As this is a day-to-day operational matter for the company in the first instance, I am not in a position to comment further at this stage.

Over the past two years, we have seen the bedding down of Tourism Ireland as a successful North-South body engaged in the international marketing of the island of Ireland as a tourism destination. Since taking up office I have lent my political weight to the overseas marketing effort and my experience on the ground, together with the overall tourism results in recent years, bears testimony to the professionalism and energy of Tourism Ireland's staff.

Question No 111 answered with QuestionNo. 109.