Tourism features in infrastructure investment priorities

Ireland benefited hugely during the Celtic Tiger years from substantial annual capital investment by Government, rising from about €2 billion in 1997 to a peak of €9 billion in 2008.

Given the changed economic circumstances it was inevitable that this level of capital expenditure would be curtailed. Last week the Government announced its revised programme through 2016.

It’s still a chunky level of investment at just under €40 billion, or about €5.5 billion each year.

The big spending areas are – Transport 32%, Environment 23%, Education 11%, Enterprise, Trade & Innovation 10%, Health 8%, with the balance spread over a number of areas including Tourism, Culture & Sport, which is allocated 2.2% of total capital spend. But tourism will benefit substantially from expenditure in other areas too, particularly Transport.

The revised programme recognises that tourism is an important internationally traded service requiring a significant programme of investment over the 2010-2016 period. This, it suggests, will support the tourism industry in contributing to national economic recovery and delivering strong employment benefits.

In the region of €190 million will be invested in tourism related infrastructure to promote Ireland as a high quality tourism destination and to maximise the economic contribution of the tourism sector.

While acknowledging the recent significant drop in overseas visitors, the programme states that tourism remains a valuable internationally traded service which can again deliver significant value added and employment to the economy.

The reprioritised programme for tourism will be administered through Fáilte Ireland. For further details CLICK HERE.

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August 5th 2010

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