Thursday, 17 November 2022
Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
174. To ask the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the extent to which Ireland’s traditional culture of welcome, friendship and support continues notwithstanding worldwide threats; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [57216/22]
As the Deputy rightly notes, Ireland has long held a reputation for the warmth of its welcome to visitors. The famous céad míle fáiltethat awaits visitors to Ireland, combined with the beauty of our landscape and the richness of our culture, are enduring strengths and have been instrumental in making tourism one of our most important economic sectors.
Our hospitality is a really important component of the holiday experience in Ireland for our overseas visitors and a key promotional theme for Tourism Ireland in all of our overseas markets. Tourism Ireland’s key target audience is the ‘Culturally Curious’ traveller; these are people who have a strong desire and high propensity to travel internationally and who are interested in our rich heritage, our people and our culture. We therefore take every opportunity to highlight these aspects to this audience, through Tourism Ireland's programme of global promotions.
Tourism Ireland continue to leverage the motivators to travel to Ireland and the opportunities presented by key events and global opportunities. Tourism Ireland’s activity to engage the all-important diaspora audience is focused on building urgency among potential visitors to begin planning and to get back to the things that matter most – reconnecting with family and friends and enjoying the very best of Ireland, including our wonderful scenery, welcoming people, food, culture and heritage.
In Budgets 2022 and 2023, I was pleased to secure additional funding for overseas marketing, some of which is being used to develop a new global marketing initiative which will seek to further promote and build on the warmth of our welcome, the beauty of our landscape and the richness of our culture.
While tourism faces many challenges, I am confident that our traditional virtues of support, friendship and welcome towards visitors will continue to be strong as ever and that the sector is well positioned to maintain current levels of recovery and to grow sustainably in the coming years.