The question relates to the Global Irish Economic Forum and other initiatives, including the Gathering. Participants in the 2011 Global Irish Economic Forum discussed the Government's priorities for economic renewal, job creation and the restoration of our reputation abroad, and explored how people at home and abroad could work together to contribute to economic recovery. It was in this context that I presented proposals for the Gathering in 2013, potentially the biggest tourism initiative ever staged in Ireland.
The role tourism can play in Ireland's economic recovery was a major focus at the forum and several participants came from the travel, tourism and hospitality sector. A dedicated working group session considered the topic of "Improving our tourism product and promotion abroad — what is Ireland doing right and what further practical steps can we take to build growth in this sector?". The Minister of State, Deputy Ring, and I, with senior officials from the Department and the tourism agencies, attended these sessions and took the opportunity to meet a range of Global Irish Network members who made a number of contributions on the topic.
The formal report of the forum which includes the overall outcomes is being finalised by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and will be published shortly. It will detail the various initiatives to be pursued, including those from a tourism perspective. However, some ideas were brought forward in the working session, which have considerable merit, including the following: an actor's-film forum, which would be a "Davos-style" forum for actors or the film industry or both, was mooted and could start with the Gathering in 2013 but with the potential to become a regular event; further visa reform, whereby a number of aspects of the current visa regime were discussed in order to make Irish immigration and visa arrangements more attractive for potential visitors; and using Irish films to promote tourism — the issue of finding ways to use films as a marketing tool for tourism was highlighted, particularly in developing markets, in building on recent successes in film-making in Ireland, for example, by making titles available with subtitles in Chinese and Indian languages. My Department, as well as the tourism agencies, is working to advance these proposals.