O'Leary: 'Ryanair can rescue Irish tourism'

O'Leary: 'Ryanair can rescue Irish tourism'

Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary has outlined to shareholders an Irish tourism "recovery plan" at its AGM this morning at Dublin Airport.

Ryanair believes the plan will reverse the traffic declines at the main Irish airports over the past two years.

The budget airline wants the €10 tourist tax scrapped, the DAA to sell off Cork and Shannon airports and the Government to scrap the Dublin Airport Metro.

It also wants the Government to force the DAA to sell T1 and T2 terminals at Dublin Airport, Aer Rianta International and Dublin Airport City, leaving the DAA to run the runways, ramps and carparks at Dublin Airport on a cost recovery basis until any remaining debt has been paid off.

Speaking at the AGM, Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said: "Irish tourism and the Irish economy can be rescued, but only if there is a return to low cost access and a break up of the high cost DAA monopoly by allowing competition to succeed where the DAA has failed.

"This year, while the Irish airports suffer a second year of double digit traffic declines, airports all over Spain, Italy, France and Germany have returned to growth thanks to lower costs and Ryanair’s new aircraft, new routes and new traffic.

"Ireland is a small peripheral economy on the edge of Europe. In such an open economy, the Irish Government has little influence or control over many industries. However, tourism is one that is extremely price sensitive and responds rapidly to cost reductions. Over the past two years the cost of Ireland’s tourism product has been transformed with lower hotel rates, lower restaurant and pub prices, and lower green fees. This good work has been wasted by the doubling and trebling of access costs, which has seen Ireland suffer two years of record traffic declines."

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