In Budget 2022 the Government allocated €67.6 million in additional funding for tourism, thereby bringing the overall tourism services budget to €288.5 million. This funding will enable the tourism agencies to assist in the recovery of the sector as we reopen to international tourism and transition to a more sustainable future.
€36.5 million was allocated in capital funding to Fáilte Ireland for tourism product development for the year 2022. This sum has been allocated across circa 140 -150 projects across all areas in each of the key Fáilte brands - Ireland's Ancient East, Dublin, Wild Atlantic Way, Irelands Hidden Heartlands - of which 30% has been fully expended to date with the remaining due between now and the end of the year.
Tourism Ireland has been allocated €7.04 million in Capital Expenditure in 2022 in respect of its all-island overseas marketing activity under the Tourism Marketing Fund.
Broadly speaking, Fáilte Ireland has four main funding channels for its capital investment in tourism product development to support the development and enhancement of tourism attractions and experiences as follows:
- Large Grant Schemes: Provided under the Platforms for Growth Schemes;
- Small grants schemes: Targeted schemes – usually aligned with the tourism experience brands;
- Strategic Partnerships and other collaborations; and
- Direct investment in experience brand infrastructure.
Through the first platform, significant investment totalling over €44 million was announced in June 2021 to develop four new world-class tourist attractions, namely Shannon Pot and Cavan Burren Park, Westport House Estate & Gardens, Fort Dunree and Head, Buncrana, and ‘This is Ireland’ in Dublin 1.
In April 2021, €19 million worth of investment was announced for the second platform (Platforms for Growth 2), launched in January 2020, which is to be used to develop world-class facility centres at 22 locations across the country where water-based activities are a key visitor attraction.
In addition, Fáilte Ireland is working with other project partners to develop a strong pipeline of exciting new or significantly improved visitor experiences. Some of these were completed in 2020 and 2021; more are due to open this year right across the country. One such example of major capital investment is the redeveloped Avondale House and Forest Park, which will provide a world class destination in Rathdrum, Co Wicklow. This is expected to open in July .
Funding for 2023 will be decided upon in the context of the 2023 budgetary process.