Dáil Éireann - Volume 525 - 07 November, 2000

Written Answers. - Tourism Promotion.

818. Mr. Allen asked the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation the reason the body with responsibility to manage the new tourism marketing fund under the national development plan does not include any representative of low fares carriers who have such an important influence in increasing numbers of inbound tourists. [23861/00]

Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation (Dr. McDaid): I presume the body to which the Deputy refers is the Tourism Marketing Partnership, TMP, which was established by me in April 2000 and involves representatives of the tourist industry working together with Bord Fáilte in developing complementary strategies and plans for the totality of their combined annual marketing expenditure.

As the Deputy is aware, the tourism industry is a very diverse sector made up of many different interests, representative groups and thousands of individual firms. Their principal overall representative body is the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation, ITIC.

I understand from ITIC, which made the industry nominations to the TMP and its two sub-groups, that their nominations were designed to achieve an equitable balance between the various interests and to allow for the broadest sectoral representation, including strong representation by air and sea carriers.

I am, of course, very conscious of the important contribution which low cost carriers make to tourism traffic development. I have encouraged any such carrier who has made representations to me on the subject to take appropriate steps to open up the possibility of their representation on the TMP institutional framework through the agreed industry nomination procedure.