Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Questions (234, 235)

Tom Fleming

Question:

235 Deputy Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on the recent survey findings by Lonely Planet, which established that Irish pubs are the number one attraction for visitors to Ireland; if he will prepare a strategy and plan in conjunction with other relevant Ministers, that will halt the continuing demise and closure of many of these pubs, which as well as being tourist attractions, are in rural areas one of the last venues remaining as a social outlet and meeting place for many persons, especially those living alone in isolated areas. [4307/12]

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

The provision of business supports to individual sectors of the tourism industry is an operational matter for Fáilte Ireland.

That said, the Irish Pub has long been recognised as one of the most popular tourist attractions, with Irish nightlife voted in the top 10 of the world by Trip Advisor and our pubs voted the best in the world by Lonely Planet. The traditional pub is an attractive offering to visitors particularly in regard to traditional music, general entertainment, the availability of food and a general feel for the Irish culture and people.

The importance of the pub is recognised in the promotional and development work of the Tourism Agencies. For example, Fáilte Ireland has developed a Pub Accreditation Scheme to ensure that all visitors feel equally welcome when they experience Ireland and its pubs. The quality-based approval system allows the very best of Ireland's Pubs and Licensed Premises to become accredited by Fáilte Ireland, and marketed for domestic and international visitors, regardless of their location and independent of membership of industry bodies. Participation in the scheme is voluntary.

I have referred the Deputy's Question to Fáilte Ireland to enable them provide further details of the scheme to the Deputy and further details of the work it undertakes with the sector. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.

Michelle Mulherin

Question:

236 Deputy Michelle Mulherin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the consideration that has been given by Fáilte Ireland to the joint application of Mayo County Council and Sligo County Council on the proposed ship to reef project; and if he will furnish details of same. [4473/12]

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The matter raised is an operational matter for Fáilte Ireland. I have referred the Deputy's Question to Fáilte Ireland for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.