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Home > Joint Committee on Transport and Communications Debate. Tourism industry market strategies: Discussion with Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and Irish Hotels Federation (Continued).

[Oireachtas] Joint Committee on Transport and Communications Debate. Tourism industry market strategies: Discussion with Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and Irish Hotels Federation (Continued). (03 Jul 2013)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/joint_...


…….Mr. Michael Vaughan: I will take the questions. In terms of sponsorship by drinks companies, the federation’s view is that drink sponsorship by and large has been a huge benefit to the tourism industry in terms of the sporting events it has sponsored. We see that in the communities in which the sponsorship has been available. We support the view taken by the committee yesterday. Other issues are stronger and more pertinent in terms of the overall argument about drink, for example below-cost selling of alcohol. In our industry the difficulty we have in many cases due to below-cost selling of alcohol is that we have been unable to control the consumption of alcohol in some hotels because people bring alcohol into the premises and drink privately in their rooms and even bring it into public functions. It is becoming a widespread difficulty for us. That is something that must be tackled before alcohol sponsorship of sport. 

The difficulty in terms of sport is that if the alcohol companies were not available to sponsor international events in particular, there is no other State authority that would step in to do it although we have seen that when sponsorship of the Irish Open ceased, the State, through Fáilte Ireland, sponsored the event.

 

The difficulty with regional tourism is the dissipation of spend. County councils have a tourism function. Leader funds are also involved. In addition, there was the old regional tourism structure. There has not been a confluence of all those elements. The difficulty we have is that the co-ordination of money is critical. Many great activities are happening but there is much duplication in the area as well. Following on from one of the points we made earlier in the presentation, we would like to see some form of new regional tourism structures that bring together the elements of county councils and Leader programmes and co-ordinate the spend. We are too small an island to go off in many different directions. There is great opportunity to harness all the efforts. One of the things about The Gathering is that it has socially activated communities that were never involved in tourism previously and now they are, and this is an opportunity for us to bring together a structure in order that we can go forward and create even better growth………

 

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