Tourist body welcomes 'realistic chance' of recovery

The Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC) has welcomed many of the measures in today’s Budget saying it gives the tourist sector a "realistic chance" of recovering.

The Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC) has welcomed many of the measures in today’s Budget saying it gives the tourist sector a "realistic chance" of recovering.

Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport, on achieving high recognition at Cabinet for the job-creating possibilities which the industry possesses.

Eamonn McKeon, Chief Executive of ITIC said: "Several of the measures which the industry sought, and which have been met to a substantial degree in Budget 2011, give tourism a realistic chance of staging a recovery in 2011.

"The reduction in the airport departure tax to €3 is a significant development. When this is coupled with the DAA incentive of free landing charges for all additional new passengers produced by the carriers, this is a major incentive for the airlines to develop new routes," he said.

The tourism marketing fund is critical to the revival of overseas visitor numbers, and the 6% decline to €41.4m still leaves intact a substantial fighting fund for 2011.

The capital commitment of €25m to tourism product development is also welcome and will allow for important new and enhancement of existing products.

"At a time when severe cuts are widespread, the industry is appreciative of the efforts of the Minister Mary Hanafin in winning support for an overall tourism allocation of €148m, which represents a manageable 3.3% decline," concluded McKeon.

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