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Order of Business

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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

Will the Leader arrange for a debate in the House on tourism, in particular a discussion on how tourism is being affected by Brexit? Perhaps the Minister, Deputy Ross, might come in and outline what strategy, if any, he has to deal with the continual and worrying slide in visitor numbers from the UK to this country. The latest CSO figures confirm the bad news and the trend which has been ongoing for more than 12 months.
In the peak summer season, which is key for people in the tourism industry, British visitor numbers were down by more than 7.5%. I am glad to say this was somewhat offset by an increase in visitor numbers from the rest of Europe of approximately 2%, and a significant increase in North American visitors of more than 12%. None the less, British visitors represent a major percentage of our total visitor numbers, and studies have shown the spend of British visitors is larger in real terms than that of visitors from other countries.
British visitors tend to go to all parts of Ireland. They are quite intrepid and do not just focus on Kerry, Dublin or Kilkenny. They go along the Wild Atlantic Way and the interesting walks we have in Ireland. Almost 250,000 people work in our tourism sector. The Irish Tourism Industry Confederation has said the Minister would want to provide an emergency fund of €20 million to offset what has already taken place. It makes a very strong case. Will the Leader try to get a specific debate on tourism and the British angle specifically?