Minister Varadkar’s Action Plan for Jobs in Transport, Tourism & Sport
Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar has outlined how his Department will continue to target job creation through the Action Plan for Jobs, including ongoing investment in tourism attractions and promoting Ireland abroad as a tourism destination.
Last year the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport ensured that the Jobs Initiative contained a strong focus on growing the tourism sector as a key employer, with initiatives like the 9% Vat rate for tourism products.
Minister Varadkar said the Department will maintain its focus on job creation in the following areas in 2012 through the Action Plan for Jobs:
- Failte Ireland will allocate capital funding for tourism projects from the €21 million fund available to it, to develop a select number of new tourism attractions whilst maintaining high standards at existing ones;
- Preparations for ‘The Gathering 2013’, a year-long programme of events, festivals and gatherings driven by arts, sports, business and community groups and supported by the Tourism Agencies which aims to attract an additional 325,000 visitors to Ireland in 2013;
- Deliver a new round of the Sports Capital Programme;
- Continue developing tourism activities and products where Ireland has an advantage such as food, culture, activity breaks, events and festivals, including niche markets like tourism and food, and securing major sports events and conferences for Ireland;
- Developing or upgrading road and public transport projects, in so far as funding allows, which will have a clear impact on economic development, competitiveness and market access;
- Reviewing public transport regulation and considering reforms which have the potential to reduce costs;
- Discussions will continue with airlines on abolishing the remaining €3 travel tax in return for acceptable commitments to bring additional passengers to Ireland;
- The €40 million Tourism Marketing fund will support international marketing and advertising programmes, focusing on the four core source markets of Great Britain, the United States, Germany and France which are essential to supporting employment in the sector;
- Participation in key trade missions to promote Ireland as a tourism destination;
- Fáilte Ireland will continue to support Irish tourism businesses through ongoing training, while ensuring that businesses are promoting themselves effectively through all forms of media.