I propose to take Questions Nos. 100 and 134 together.
On 14 January last, I announced the membership of a high level group to oversee the implementation of the initial two-year Action Plan for Irish Tourism, recommended by the Tourism Policy Review Group in its report, New Horizons for Irish Tourism — An Agenda for Action. Mr. John Travers, who chaired the Tourism Policy Review Group, will chair the implementation group. The other members are Philip Furlong, Secretary General of my Department, Jim Murphy, managing director, Prem Group, Michael O'Donoghue, managing director, O'Donoghue-Ring Hotels, Eileen O'Mara Walsh, O'Mara Travel, Raymond J. Rooney, businessman, and Paul Tansey, economist.
In line with the recommendation in the report, the high level group will advise me on the implementation on the Tourism Action Plan 2003-2005, publish reports on its work, results and deliberations at six-monthly intervals, and sit for a period up to the end of 2005. Under its terms of reference, the group will capitalise on the current impetus for change and modernisation within the public and private sectors, to ensure that the action plan is seen as an integrated set of actions. It will work in partnership with the tourism industry, the key State agencies, Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland, and relevant Departments highlighting, in particular, constraints to progress, and make recommendations on how best they might be addressed, and by whom.
The implementation group, which has agreed to meet monthly, held its inaugural meeting on 5 February last. In addressing the group, I expressed my appreciation of its willingness to advise and assist me in what I regard as one of the key objectives in terms of my tourism portfolio. I highlighted the co-ordinated and partnership approach that underpins the terms of reference, and mentioned my belief that, in the years ahead, the tourism agenda will be influenced heavily by developments in the wider economy and by the potential for concerted action on the part of the tourism industry itself. I said that I believed the group would be in a strong position to influence the wider agenda in support of future sustainable tourism development. The first report of the implementation group will cover the period to end July 2004 and I would expect to receive it before the end of August.