Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Questions (693)

Terence Flanagan

Question:

693. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will provide details of all official foreign trips he and Ministers of State in his Department intend to take between now and the end of 2014; if he will detail whom they will be meeting with on these trips; the purpose of the trips; the duration of the trips; if there are plans to use all of these trips to promote Ireland as a good place for doing business and as a destination for foreign direct investment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21864/14]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

Both Minister Ring and I regularly attend European Council meetings relating to our various responsibilities. Currently I expect to attend the European Transport Council meeting on the 5th June.  The date of the next European Sports Council meeting is yet to confirmed.  In relation to other travel, I intend to travel to Canada on the 17th May to attend the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) Foundation Board meeting. I will be returning the following day.  I am a member of the WADA Foundation Board and I am attending because of our strong commitments to doping free sport. Due to the short duration of the visit I will not be in a position to promote Ireland outside of the sporting context.

Neither Minister Ring nor I currently have further definitive foreign travel plans for this year. However as a matter of course given our tourism responsibilities, the promotion of Ireland as a place to visit is often the key purpose of our overseas visits. Incoming tourism is an important source of export revenues and employment, complementing other sectors.

Minister Kelly's current travel plans for 2014 include travel to Brussels from the 1st - 3rd June 2014 to lead a delegation at a presentational meeting with ERTICO in relation to ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) Ireland's bid to host the 2018 ITS World Congress in Dublin. Minister Kelly will also attend the 10th ITS European Congress in Helsinki between 16th & 18th June 2014. The purpose of the trip is to assist with the promotion of Irish firms involved in Intelligent Transport System technologies. The Minister will be promoting Ireland as a place to do business similar to his commitments made during the 9th ITS European Congress which was held in Dublin in June 2013. 

Travel plans for Ministers are open to change and further foreign travel may arise over the remainder of the year.