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Written Answers - Tourism Promotion

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 765 No. 3

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 537.  Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy Information on Marcella Corcoran Kennedy Zoom on Marcella Corcoran Kennedy  asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar  if he will provide an update on his plans for the Gathering. [23801/12]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar I presented proposals for “The Gathering Ireland 2013” at the Global Irish Economic Forum last October. Fáilte Ireland is the lead agency for the implementation of the initiative and has put in place a project team to manage the project. The event will be the biggest tourism initiative ever staged in Ireland and will consist of a year-long programme of festivals, events and other gatherings. The St. Patrick’s day festivities were used for the overseas launch of “The Gathering Ireland 2013”. Key international tourism industry partners were invited to become part of The Gathering Ireland 2013 at the recent Meitheal annual tourism trade fair in the RDS. Tourism Ireland Limited will have specific responsibility for promoting “The Gathering Ireland 2013” in overseas markets. The main marketing of the event will take place in the second half of the year. The Irish tourism trade are also being briefed on progress on an ongoing basis.

A new website has also gone live with information on how people can play their part in the event. In addition, social media channels are already on stream to promote the event and engage prospective visitors.

[509]The domestic launch of the Gathering Ireland 2013 took place last Friday 11th May 2012 in Dublin Castle at an event attended by An Taoiseach, An Tánaiste, Minister of State Ring and I. The launch was used to urge every community, business, club and organisation in every community in Ireland to get involved in The Gathering Ireland 2013. The launch was also used to highlight the fact that a series of Gathering Community Meetings will be held throughout Ireland in the months ahead and planning in this regard is now underway. I also outlined some of the special and enhanced events being prepared for 2013 as part of The Gathering.

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