Tuesday, 15 October 2002
Dáil Eireann Debate
246. Ms B. Moynihan-Cronin asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism his views on the recent ITIC report on prices in the tourism industry; his plans to take steps on foot of this report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18208/02]
Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism (Mr. O'Donoghue): I very much welcome yesterday's publication of the report by the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation, ITIC, on the Impact of Tourism on the Irish Economy. The report confirms in an authoritative way the importance of the tourism sector to Ireland's economy which now generates nearly €4 billion in annual foreign revenue earnings and supports up to 150,000 jobs. The report also places a strong emphasis on maintaining industry competitiveness and service quality levels which reflects my own recently expressed concerns about the importance of delivering value for money for the Irish tourism product.
I can assure the Deputy that the report will be carefully studied by my Department and the tourism state agencies and should prove a useful input into the development of our tourism policy into the future, particularly in the context of the establishment of the new Tourism Development Authority which brings together the functions currently carried out by Bord Fáilte and CERT, to help address the new challenges facing the sector.
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