Tuesday, 2 November 2004
Dáil Eireann Debate
125. Mr. Boyle asked the Minister for Transport if the foreign soldiers landing in Shannon Airport on approved military refuelling flights have been counted as tourist visitors here within the statistical analysis that is carried out at the airport on visitors to the country. [26890/04]
Minister for Transport (Mr. Cullen): The Central Statistics Office produces quarterly statistics on the number of tourists visiting Ireland. It has confirmed that the Central Statistics Office does not count foreign soldiers landing at Shannon on military refuelling flights as tourist visitors, since the soldiers do not actually leave the airport.
Shannon Airport management also keeps statistics on passengers passing through the airport. They do not count the soldiers as terminal traffic, that is, as passengers arriving into Shannon Airport who then go on to travel around Ireland. However, they do count the soldiers as part of the transit traffic using Shannon Airport. Shannon Airport does not classify passengers, in either terminal or transit traffic, as being either tourist or business-related.
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