Thursday, 27 June 2013
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
North-South Ministerial Council
25. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will provide details of the agenda for the North/South Ministerial Council meeting to be held on 26 June in Armagh; if he will also provide specific details of the major tourism initiatives North / South planned for 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30941/13]
I attended the fourteenth North South Ministerial Council (NSMC) Tourism meeting in the NSMC Joint Secretariat offices, Armagh yesterday , 26 June 2013. The meeting was also attended by Arlene Foster MLA, Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, and John O’Dowd MLA, Minister for Education. At the meeting we received a presentation from Tourism Ireland on their Business Plan for 2013 and priorities for the remainder of the year.
The Council also discussed major tourism marketing initiatives including The Gathering Ireland 2013 and Derry-Londonderry UK City of Culture 2013, and noted the major role which Tourism Ireland is playing in their overseas promotion. Tourism Ireland's Annual Report and Accounts for 2012 were noted and there was also a useful discussion on the development of Tourism Ireland's Corporate Plan for the period 2014 to 2016.
In terms of other initiatives in the tourism area, there is ongoing cooperation between the tourism agencies and Government Departments north and south in a number of other areas including the selection of suitable tourism projects to benefit from Peace/INTERREG funds, work to harmonise and share tourism statistics north and south and specific initiatives by the agencies in relation to major events such as the Giro d'Italia. I look forward to this work continuing and to availing of any other beneficial opportunities for north/south cooperation in the tourism sector in the future.