Dáil Éireann - Volume 474 - 30 January, 1997

Written Answers. - Tourism Policy.

93. Mr. Killeen asked the Minister for Tourism and Trade the effect on tourism policy and delivery of services of his non-responsibility for matters which fall under the remit of SFADCo and the RTOs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2690/97]

94. Mr. Killeen asked the Minister for Tourism and Trade the plans, if any, he has to alter existing structures in tourism; when the last reviews of the operation of SFADCo and the RTOs was undertaken; and the recommendations, if any, which were made. [2688/97]

Minister for Tourism and Trade (Mr. E. Kenny): I propose to take Question Nos. 93 and 94 together.

As the Deputy is aware Bord Fáilte Éireann is the executive agency responsible for promoting and developing tourist traffic in and to the State, through implementation of Government policy. It is a statutory body and its powers and functions are set out in the Tourist Traffic Acts, 1939 to 1995. It is run by a board of directors appointed by the Minister for Tourism and Trade with the consent of the Minister for Finance and it reports to the Department of Tourism and Trade.

Shannon Development promotes development in the mid west region, a role similar to that of [383] the regional tourism authorities. It reports to the Department of Tourism and Trade on tourism issues and funds are provided through my Department's Vote to help defray its tourism administration and general expenses.

The regional tourism authorities were initially established by Bord Fáilte in 1963 under section 5 of the Tourist Traffic Act, 1952. They are structured as private companies registered under the Companies Acts, limited by guarantee with memoranda and articles of association which contain, inter alia, stipulations relating to their management, administration and general business affairs. In accordance with their memoranda and articles, regional tourism authorities are accountable to, and obliged to operate in accordance with, the policies and directions of Bord Fáilte. The last major review of the regional tourism authorities which was undertaken in 1993 concentrated on changes in their boards and representation.

I have found all the tourism agencies to be responsive to and supportive of the tourism policies set by Government. They work co-operatively towards the very demanding targets which have been set for the industry. I have ensured an appropriate level of co-ordination and integration in that Shannon Development, the regional tourism authorities, Bord Fáilte and the industry are represented on the National Tourism Council which I chair myself and which advises me on policy matters.

I am satisfied that Government policy for Irish tourism is being implemented in a co-ordinated and effective manner and that the structures in place are responsive to the requirements of our markets and customers, but, of course, all such structures must continue to evolve. While I have no plans to alter existing structures, I can assure the Deputy that they are constantly under review.