Written answers

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Departmental Agencies

Photo of Seán CroweSeán Crowe (Dublin South West, Sinn Fein)
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To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport in view of the fact that he plans to reduce Fáilte Ireland’s budget from €63.3 million in 2013 to €53.2 million by 2015, his views on whether this will have a negative impact on the tourist industry in terms of visitor numbers and employment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57260/12]

Photo of Michael RingMichael Ring (Mayo, Fine Gael)
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This question relates to the budget allocation to Fáilte Ireland.

Next year is particularly significant for Irish tourism and Minister Varadkar has allocated a special incremental €7 million from within the Department's overall budget for the Gathering Ireland 2013 initiative. This €7 million is included in Fáilte Ireland’s overall current Grant-in-Aid provision of €63.3 million,although their core allocation in 2013 had been originally set at €56.4million under the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure.

Taking into account the difficult choices which the Government has had to make in regard to public expenditure, this provision reflects the recognition by the Government of the contribution that the tourism industry is making to economic recovery, employment and tax receipts and will, I believe, enable Fáilte Ireland to deliver on its remit in 2013.

There is provision in 2013 for total expenditure of just under €140 million on tourism services across a diverse range of activities. This includes a provision for the Tourism Marketing Fund of over €37m in 2013 which will enable Tourism Ireland to fully implement their 2013 Marketing Plans.

Fáilte Ireland also has an allocation of capital funding of €20 million in 2013, of which €19 million is available to support investment in tourism product and €1 million to meet Fáilte Ireland's own internal capital requirements.

As the Deputy is aware, the Government has made available a range of other supports for the tourism industry through the 2011 Jobs Initiative, not least the VAT cut to 9% which will be sustained throughout next year. In addition, the new higher cash VAT threshold of €1.25 million announced in the recent Budget should assist the cash flow of many tourism SMEs.


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