Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Ceisteanna (578, 579, 580)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

578. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the amount spent to market the Wild Atlantic Way internationally each year since its inception; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5025/16]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

579. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the amount spent in each year to market the Wild Atlantic Way internationally since its inception as an attraction to enjoy during the winter months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5026/16]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

580. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on the enormous potential to market the Wild Atlantic Way internationally as an all year round attraction to help boost our winter tourism industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5027/16]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 578 to 580, inclusive, together.

The autumn/winter season is already recognised as being of significant importance for the tourism industry in Ireland as it usually yields as much as 30% of our annual overseas tourism business. Figures published last week by the CSO show that the number of overseas visits to Ireland grew by 17.8% between October and December 2015, when compared with the same period in 2014.

Tourism Ireland's 2016 business plan includes objectives to highlight unique and motivating iconic visitor experiences, including the Wild Atlantic Way, and to present the island of Ireland as an exciting destination to visit in the off-peak season.

Decisions on how the Wild Atlantic Way is marketed overseas are a matter for Tourism Ireland Limited, and in the case of the domestic tourism market, are a matter for Fáilte Ireland.  These decisions are not subject to my approval. Accordingly, I have also referred the Deputy's Parliamentary Questions to both agencies for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.