YFG Tourism Seminar Proves Huge Potential for Growth in Sector

Young Fine Gael (YFG) hosted a seminar entitled Are Ireland Leading in Tourism Innovation? at our inaugural Garret FitzGerald Summer School in Killarney which highlighted the potential for growth and recovery in the sector, which can provide two billion in growth with almost no investment.

The seminar included: Shaun Quinn, CEO of Fáilte Ireland; Brendan Griffin, TD for Kerry South; Michael Vaughan, President of Irish Hotels' Federation; Sean Kelly, MEP; and Michael Rosney, Kerry hotelier and former Vice President of Irish Hotels Federation.

"With almost 3 million visitors to Ireland in the first six months, we are experiencing growth, but we can drive more growth and there are markets we can tap further," Shaun Quinn, CEO of Fáilte Ireland said, before giving the Irish tourism sector a report card on its performance.

"Our individual tourists enterprises get an A grade, there is room to improve, but as survivors in this economic period, they deserve huge credit. Our Individual locations across the country vary from B to D grades, some are excellent and attract people enormously, bringing return visitors and new visitors. Our tourism agencies get a B3, they can provide more support, expertise and assistance while they are performing solidly. In terms of policy, I would say it passes, but we need to think laterally, across departments to get as much growth as possible for the tourism sector and I think we can and must do that properly" Shaun Quinn continued.

"We can use the market of winter holidays better, like Scotland have," Brendan Griffin, Kerry TD commented. "We must also, each of us individually, work to create a good tourism experience for visitors and encourage people to visit – friends, family and the people we meet when we travel broad. Word of mouth is the cheapest and most effective form of marketing and we can each undertake it."

Both Michael Vaughan, President of the Irish Hotels' Federation and Sean Kelly, MEP pointed the need for tourism infrastructure. "Ireland's tourism industry has fared better under Fine Gael and by hosting this seminar, YFG shows its alignment with the coalition government's work. Facilities like a surf arcade in Lahinch would help us bring the developing markets like sporting and activity holidays to Ireland – this infrastructure is as important as roads," Michael Vaughan commented.

"The investment in roads is not the only infrastructure that works. We also need to invest in tourism infrastructure that works, and to promote ourselves through the networks we have – the international aspect of the GAA is only one example," Sean Kelly MEP said.

"This seminar was an invaluable insight into the potential in this sector and to the contribution young people can make to this redeveloping Irish tourism," YFG President, Patrick Molloy said.

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