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New strategy to bring tourists into Dublin city

Dublin is in danger of becoming a bit "stale" while our competitor cities overseas have been reinventing themselves.

The CEO of Failte Ireland Shaun Quinn said it was important that Dublin performs to its full potential.

"We have a great capital city but nobody ever got ahead by standing still," he said.

"As two out of every three visitors arriving in Ireland spend some time in the city, moulding their perception of Ireland, what is good for the capital is good for tourism in the country at large."

Under a new initiative, Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe has announced the establishment of a group to develop a brand identity for Dublin and drive tourism in the capital.

The group, which is being set up under Failte Ireland and will be known as the Grow Dublin Tourism Alliance, will be led by the chairman of Bord Bia, Michael Carey.

It will focus on marketing Dublin city and region in a unified way for the first time ever, to encourage greater tourist numbers and ultimately to create jobs.

While the last number of years have shown the beginnings of a recovery where tourism is concerned, Dublin is under-performing against its potential and has the capacity to attract even more tourists than is currently the case.

The previous benchmarking report by the Grow Dublin Taskforce last year found that the annual percentage growth in terms of bed nights in Dublin between 2008-2012 was just 1pc, where our competitor cities of Berlin, Copenhagen and Amsterdam were significantly outperforming us with growth rates of 10.5pc, 8.3pc and 4.1pc respectively.

"If a capital city does not fulfil its potential in terms of tourism that has implications for the rest of the country, for the creation of jobs and for the amount of revenue the State takes in," said Minister Donohoe.

"The Wild Atlantic Way has been a huge success for the west of Ireland and with a strategy currently being developed for the south-east, it is time to look at Dublin's performance and put a cohesive strategy in place to ensure the maximum performance of our capital city."

"We have seen steady growth in tourism figures nationally, with an increase of more than 9pc so far this year," he said.

"But we cannot afford to be complacent. Dublin has so much to offer and by harnessing the skills of all relevant stakeholders, as well as that of Dubliners themselves, we can send a strong message to the rest of the world that Dublin is top of the list in terms of global city destinations.

funding

"My ambition is to increase the number of tourists to Ireland to 10 million, the amount of revenue we take in to €5bn and to have 250,000 people working in tourism related industries each year by 2025," he added.

A funding model will have to be put in place, which will require a balance of funding from the public and private sector, according to the Minister.

Mr Carey added that it was an opportunity to allocate funding in a way that will change how Dublin is perceived and experienced by visitors.

fdillon@herald.ie


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