There is a possibility of sequels and that Classic Media will become increasingly engaged with Tourism Ireland in terms of promoting Ireland in conjunction with promoting the film or films. We are particularly suited to Classic Media because all film relief uniquely applies not only to films but also to television projects. Classic Media has many property rights in the television market and is the provider of "Lassie".
With regard to the question of car hire, one of the most disappointing occurrences in Ireland in recent times is that visitors coming in from abroad who are over the age of 70 find it difficult to get insurance. That is desperately unfair, not just on the country but on the people coming in seeking to hire cars. It is a complaint which I heard in the US on a number of occasions. Just because a person is over the age of 70, he or she should not be denied insurance. Where this occurs, it should be reviewed and examined as a matter of urgency.
It is true there was a decline in the number of people travelling to Ireland by ferry last year and this obviously had an adverse effect on the tourism industry. This would be indicative of a decrease in the number of visitors from Britain, which at approximately 1% was very slight. A major marketing drive, which takes up about 38% of our marketing funds for 2005, is taking place in Britain and should yield significant results.
The RTAs are being reviewed in the context of the New Horizons report and the implementation group is specifically looking at the relationship between the RTAs, Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland. This is necessary because despite that we transferred functions from Fáilte Ireland to Tourism Ireland and defined the functions of Fáilte Ireland, we never really defined the relationship between the RTAs, Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland. We increased funding for RTAs this year by 20%, underlining the importance I attach to the regions. It is important the RTAs become ever more viable in order that we ensure they are in a position to market their regions effectively on the national and international stage.
I am particularly pleased at the increase in the domestic market during 2004. This is our largest market and it increased by 16% and was worth revenue of €1.2 billion.