Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Questions (784)

Alan Farrell

Question:

784. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will outline details of the promotion of Ireland, at home and abroad, during the period of the St. Patrick's Day Festival; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8650/13]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

As the Deputy will be aware, responsibility for the promotion of Ireland abroad generally is a matter for my colleague the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, while responsibility for the promotion of Ireland as a tourist destination is a matter for the tourism agencies.

With regard to the promotion of Ireland as a tourist destination overseas, I am advised by Tourism Ireland of recently announced details of their fourth "Global Greening" initiative which sees iconic buildings and sites across the world "go green" to mark St. Patrick's day. The initiative captures public and media attention across the world generating positive publicity for Ireland and helping create a supportive backdrop against which Tourism Ireland can roll out its targeted marketing programmes. Amongst the landmarks going green this year are the pyramids of Giza, the Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio De Janeiro, the Sydney Opera House and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. More details can be found on Tourism Ireland's website.  In addition, all opportunities to promote Ireland as a tourist destination will be availed of during the programme of overseas Ministerial visits during the St. Patrick's Day period with a particular focus on The Gathering Ireland 2013.

With regard to the domestic market, this year's St. Patrick's festival will again aim to showcase all that is best about Ireland and deliver lasting memories for the 1.6 million people who engage with the festival annually. The theme of this year's Dublin parade is "Great Things Happen When We Get Together" and the "People's Parade" means that several thousand people from around the world will lead the parade.  

  In addition and given that 2013 is the year of The Gathering, I am, in conjunction with Minister of State Brian Hayes, encouraging a wide programme of "greening" of public buildings at home. I have also invited my Ministerial colleagues, local authorities, bus and rail companies and airports to green prominent buildings in their care and the Gathering Team are disseminating the concept through their network across the country. A number of high profile buildings have been confirmed already and, together with Minister of State Hayes, I hope to make an announcement on the subject over the coming weeks.

Question No. 785 answered with Question No. 782.