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					            Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                                      (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

Strategic Success Driver 1            Business Environment

Page                         Recommendation                           Status                                 Action Taken by December 2005
p. 13   Government Commitment (1.1)                                    Good          The Report of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An
                                                                     Progress/   Agenda for Action, was launched on 30 September 2003, following the Government
        a Acknowledge tourism as instrument of national and           Outputs    decision that individual Departments would engage on the actions recommended by the
          regional development                                                   Review Group that had implications for them.
        b Redefine tourism policy                                                   The Enterprise Strategy Group, in its report "Ahead of the Curve", published in July
        c Establish a stronger analytical and resource base in the               2004, confirmed tourism as a sector of enterprise of specific opportunity for Ireland and
          Department                                                             endorsed the Review Group's new tourism strategy.

                       Government/Department of Arts, Sport and                       The Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism (DAST)
         Lead Role                                                                o    is providing the secretariat to the Implementation Group with the support of the
                       Tourism
                                                                                       Tourism State Agencies and the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC); has
                                                                                       assigned 25% of the 17 people working in the Tourism Division to the Impact
                                                                                       Assessment Unit (set up to facilitate the implementation of the new strategy for Irish
                                                                                       tourism 2003-2012 and monitor areas of policy and action that impact in a
                                                                                       significant manner on the development of tourism)
                                                                                  o    set up a Group comprising of Chief Executives of the arts, sport and tourism
                                                                                       agencies/bodies within its aegis to devise a plan to implement recommendations to
                                                                                       maximising synergies across the Department and its agencies, in the interest of
                                                                                       national economic, social and cultural development
                                                                                  o    is using the Implementation Group consultation process as a mechanism for more
                                                                                       effective interaction with other Departments – process has worked well to date with
                                                                                       a particularly productive dialogue developing with the Departments of Transport and
                                                                                       Finance
                                                                                  o    agreed to undergo a written and oral review process by the OECD Tourism
                                                                                       Committee of Ireland's tourism policy, in June 2004 – the Committee endorsed the
                                                                                       new strategy for tourism development
                                                                                  o    has devoted considerable attention, over the past 2 years, to the need to have a
                                                                                       more proactive role in influencing the decisions, programmes and policies of the
                                                                                       various Departments and Agencies that impacted on tourism. The results are
                                                                                       coming through with growing recognition of tourism policy concerns in decision-
                                                                                       making and consultative processes outside the Department's aegis
                                                                                  o    participates at meetings of the National Competitiveness Council, the Tax Strategy
                                                                                       Group, the Enterprise Strategy monitoring group. It also participated on the
                                                                                       committee that considered the implementation of the Consumer Strategy Group
                                                                                       report.




                                                                                                                                                                                1
           Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                                     (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

p. 13   Competition (1.2) Strongly support competition, or pro-        Good           The Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism and Tourism Industry Representative
        competition regulation where market competition does not     Progress/   Bodies are strongly supporting Government measures to introduce a greater level of
        operate                                                      Ongoing     competition in the provision of private and public services. Specific areas include the
                                                                                 insurance reform agenda, which seeks to lower premiums and the transport reform
                      Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism/                     agenda, which is designed to bring about more competition in the provision of airport
        Lead Role
                      Tourism Industry Representative Bodies                     infrastructure, air services, internal transport services and taxis.
p. 14   Inflation (1.3) Take resolute action to maintain recent        Good          There has been a significant improvement in Ireland's overall inflation rate since 2003
        progress to bring inflation and tourism prices down to the   Progress/   when it averaged 3.5% – the top of the eurozone league. It fell to 2.2% in 2004 – the
        eurozone average and below through                            Outputs    lowest rate since 1999. Annual Inflation ranged between 2.1% and 3.0% during 2005. It
                                                                                 was 2.5% in December 2005 when the annual rate of inflation for Goods was 0.5%, while
         • the full implementation of the Social Partnership                     the corresponding rate for Services was 4.2%. Inflation in the Restaurants and Hotels
             Agreement 2003-2005 –-Sustaining Progress, as well                  category is higher than the general rate, at 3.2%, but this is true also of a number of
             as the Agreement's anti-inflation initiative                        European countries.
         • Government commitment to an inflation target                              Ireland's labour competitiveness position has worsened as wages and salaries per
             benchmarked to the eurozone average rate                            head increase; prices for certain Government and Local Government services have also
                                                                                 increased well ahead of general inflation rates. This continues to highlight the need to
         • maintaining any increases in charges for Government                   moderate costs and prices in order to address concerns relating to competitiveness and
             services below the general rate of inflation                        value for money for tourism services.
         • avoiding further increases in excise duties and VAT in                     Under Sustaining Progress an Anti-Inflation Initiative Group was set up to examine
             Budget 2004.                                                        ways of bringing down domestically generated inflation. Comprising key participants in
        Lead Role     Government/Department of Finance                           the partnership process, it has examined issues such as pay, competition, excessive
                                                                                 pricing and insurance costs. All of the social partners are continuing to work together to
                                                                                 drive inflation down further. Action on foot of the work of the Group included the major
                                                                                 Government-funded campaign–"Price Awareness Pays"– overseen by the Office of the
                                                                                 Director of Consumer Affairs.
                                                                                     There were limited changes to indirect taxes in Budgets 2004, 2005 and 2006. In
                                                                                 Budget 2005 and again in Budget 2006, for the first time in many years, there were no
                                                                                 increase in either VAT or excise duty rates.




                                                                                                                                                                               2
           Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                                     (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

p. 14   Taxation (1.4)                                                    Good          Under general taxation rules, expenditure on plant and machinery qualifies for 8-year
         • promote reinvestment ... through use of the                  Progress/   capital allowances – so expenditure in existing premises should be able to qualify under
            accelerated write-offs already available for plant and      Ongoing     these categories.
            machinery                                                                   The Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC), the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) and
         • establish and publish annually information on                            the Irish Tour Operators Association (ITOA) have commissioned consultants to examine
             investment in tourism facilities undertaken with the aid               the case for a range of tax-related issues (including business tourism and Tour Operators
             of capital allowances and other tax reliefs                            margins) and submissions have been made to the Department of Finance.
                                                                                        Officials from the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism, the Department of Finance
         • bring indirect taxation levels down to average
                                                                                    and the Revenue Commissioners have been examining how Ireland's position, relative to
             eurozone levels
                                                                                    other EU countries including Britain, in attracting international conference business can
                      Fáilte Ireland/Revenue Commissioners/                         be improved in the context of Budget 2007.
        Lead Role     Tourism Industry Representative Bodies/
                                                                                         The 7-year capital allowance regime for investment in hotel projects has ended as a
                      Department of Finance
                                                                                    result of Budget 2003. In response to concerns expressed by the industry, generous
                                                                                    transitional arrangements have been put in place for certain projects in the course of
                                                                                    development. Thereafter the annual write-off for hotels will be 4% per annum for 25 years
                                                                                    – in line with that for industrial buildings.
                                                                                        The Minister for Finance announced in May 2004 that revenue tax returns would be
                                                                                    amended to allow for the collection of certain data in respect of the tax foregone under
                                                                                    particular schemes – the information to be available in 2006. Fáilte Ireland commissioned
                                                                                    consultants who reported, in autumn 2004, on investment data in tourism facilities – a
                                                                                    similar report will be commissioned each year.
                                                                                        The Minister for Finance announced, on 1 December 2004, that a full review of
                                                                                    certain tax reliefs and exemptions would be undertaken. The Department of Arts, Sport
                                                                                    and Tourism was represented on the Steering Committee for the Review of Property
                                                                                    Based Tax Incentive Schemes (including the capital allowances regime for hotels and
                                                                                    holiday cottages). The IHF responded to the request for submissions (before 31 March
                                                                                    2005). The outcome of the review was announced in Budget 2006.
                                                                                        There is continuing concern about the high levels of taxation on the cost of eating out
                                                                                    and drink prices in Ireland compared with other European countries. Ireland has the
                                                                                    highest rate of excise duty on wine and beer and virtually the highest rate on spirits
                                                                                    among the original 15 EU Member States. The Restaurants Association of Ireland, and
                                                                                    the European HOTREC forum have prioritised the reduction in VAT rate in its lobbying
                                                                                    activities.




                                                                                                                                                                                  3
           Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                                     (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

p. 15   Insurance (1.5)                                                   Good            Good progress is continuing to be made in implementing the Government’s Insurance
                                                                        Progress/     Reform Programme. Insurance companies operating in the Irish market are expected to
         • the acceleration of the Government's Insurance                Outputs      generate significant profits again in 2005. This is facilitating reductions in premia and
             Reform Programme,                                                        enhances the attractiveness of the market to new entrants. There has been significant
                                                                                      downward movement in motor insurance premiums – the CPI shows a reduction of 26%
         • the consideration of the particular impact on tourism
                                                                                      since 2003 and 7.4% in the twelve months to December 2005. These reductions have
             of insurance increases
                                                                                      also worked their way through into the tourism sector car and coach hire companies.
         • the consideration of the scope for co-operative action                          Visitors to Ireland from other EU Member States involved in motor traffic accidents
             by the tourism industry.                                                 may now process claims through a claims representative appointed in their Member State
                       Department of Enterprise, Trade and                            of residence. The claims representative can access motor insurance details of Irish
        Lead Role                                                                     drivers involved in any accident with a visitor through the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland
                       Employment*/Competition Authority/
                                                                                      and have their claim processed in their resident country.
                       Tourism Industry Representative Bodies
                                                                                           Some tourism industry groups have reported reductions in insurance premiums (46-
                                                                                      48% – but they are still 40-50% higher than in Britain) for employer's liability and public
        * responsibility has since been transferred to the                            liability insurance – the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) has negotiated a unique
                                                                                      facility for members; the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) focus is now on PIAB's Book of
        Department of Transport
                                                                                      Quantum and the allocation for injuries (significantly higher than in Britain). Other sectors
                                                                                      of the industry are not experiencing similar success due to the disparate nature of the
                                                                                      product provided.
p. 15   Infrastructure (1.6) Accelerate the completion of                 Good            Details of progress in implementing the key elements of tourism-related infrastructure
          • National Conference Centre (Strategic Success               Progress/     are set out later in this Appendix (at 5.5, 5.6, 3.7 and 3.8 respectively).
             Driver 5 also refers)                                       Outputs

         • National Sports Stadium (Strategic Success Driver 5
             also refers)
         • National Roads Programme (Strategic Success Driver
             3 also refers)
         • National and Regional Road Signposting
             Programmes (Strategic Success Driver 3 also refers).
                       Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism/
        Lead Role      Department of Transport/Department of
                       Environment, Heritage and Local
                       Government
p. 15   Regional Infrastructural Priorities (1.7) Update the audit    Slow Progress       The Regional Tourism Authorities have been asked to undertake an audit of tourist
        of the tourism-related infrastructural needs of each of the                   related infrastructure needs, in particular in the roads and signposting areas, in order to
        regional tourism authority areas                                              help prioritise key actions needed.
        Lead Role      Regional Tourism Authorities/ Fáilte Ireland




                                                                                                                                                                                      4
           Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                                     (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

p. 16   Tourism State Agencies – Business Plans (1.8) Fáilte           Good         Tourism Ireland marketing plans for 2005 and 2006 were launched by Minister
        Ireland and Tourism Ireland to prepare and publish           Progress/   O’Donoghue, in December 2004 and 2005 respectively. These documents were
        annually business development plans.                          Outputs    developed following extensive consultation with industry interests.

        Lead Role     Fáilte Ireland/Tourism Ireland /Department                      Following sign off by Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment & DAST,
                      of Arts, Sport and Tourism                                 Tourism Ireland also publishes its Corporate and Operating Plans. The Corporate Plan
                                                                                 outlines objectives, targets and resource requirements for the period 2005-2007 and fully
                                                                                 takes into account the appropriate recommendations in the Report of the Tourism Policy
                                                                                 Review Group. The Operating Plan outlines the key activities that Tourism Ireland will
                                                                                 carry out in order to deliver on the organisation's objectives.
                                                                                    Fáilte Ireland also published its Operational Plans incorporating outlines of its
                                                                                 Programmes in Marketing, Enterprise Development, Training and Research and its
                                                                                 Corporate Strategy for 2005-2008. Short term Regional Tourism Business Plans have
                                                                                 been assisted by Fáilte Ireland and relevant details published.
p. 16   Proposed Smoking Ban in the Workplace (1.9) ...              Completed       The health-related tobacco-smoking ban in the workplace came into effect in March
        discussions should continue between the Department of                    2004 and has been well received by the public, with virtually 100% compliance.
        Health and Children and the tourism sector on the detailed               Following concerns expressed by tourism accommodation providers, the Minister for
        arrangements for the introduction of the new measures ...                Health and Children published the Tobacco Smoking (Prohibition) (Amendment) (No.2)
                                                                                 Regulations that exempted, from the ban, bedrooms in tourism accommodation registered
                                                                                 under the Tourist Traffic Acts.
        Lead Role     Department of Health and Children/Tourism                     The impact of the smoking ban on the tourism sector is being monitored by the
                      Industry Representative Bodies                             Tourism State Agencies.




                                                                                                                                                                             5
        Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                                  (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

Strategic Success Driver 2        Competitiveness and Value for Money

Page                         Recommendation                         Status                              Action Taken by December 2005
p. 17    Tourism Industry to Acknowledge Primary                     Good          The Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC) has informed the
         Responsibility for Restoring Competitiveness (2.1)        Progress/   Implementation Group that it does not accept that the tourism industry has primary
                                                                    Outputs    responsibility for restoring competitiveness as it argues that most of the influencing
                                                                               factors are outside its control. Through its representation on Social Partnership,
                                                                               ITIC will continue to raise awareness of the importance of industry costs on the
                                                                               sector's competitiveness.
          Lead Role   Tourism Industry Representative Bodies
                      and tourism enterprises                                      Through its own direct marketing activity and cooperative joint promotion
                                                                               programmes with Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland, the industry publishes tactical
                                                                               promotional offers from air and sea carriers, accommodation providers, tour
                                                                               operators and other product segments. The upgrading and effectiveness of
                                                                               websites is on-going with, for example, IHF reporting a 150% increase in bookings
                                                                               within a year of launch of www.irelandhotels.com - where the commission rate is
                                                                               as low as 3%.
                                                                                    Many discounted special offers are available on www.ireland.ie, Fáilte
                                                                               Ireland's revamped website, launched in March 2005. The site has more than
                                                                               20,000 pages of holiday information and includes some 600 offers in sectors such
                                                                               as health and wellness, festival breaks and outdoor activities. Fáilte Ireland’s
                                                                               tactical advertising in the domestic and Northern Ireland markets focuses on the
                                                                               value aspects of holidays in Ireland, referencing the deals and offers available on
                                                                               www.ireland.ie. Many ads include specific price points that represent good value
                                                                               for Irish consumers, and some highlight ‘room only’ rates.
                                                                                    The Irish Tour Operators Association (ITOA) continually monitors trade and
                                                                               consumer reaction to price and product in the market place. Members are flexible
                                                                               in their negotiations on price and alter/adjust product and price offerings to fit
                                                                               demands.
                                                                                   The Restaurants' Association of Ireland (RAI) and the Irish Hotels Federation
                                                                               (IHF), with the support of Fáilte Ireland, have continued to promote and develop
                                                                               the Value Menu initiative, now in its third year. Almost 400 restaurants now
                                                                               participate and are listed on the website www.valuemenu.ie. It is planned to put in
                                                                               place a web based promotional programme.




                                                                                                                                                                        6
        Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                                  (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

                                                                                        One of the major challenges to the tourism industry in controlling costs is that
                                                                                   increases in the price of essential items within the remit of the public sector – such
                                                                                   as rates, electricity, waste, labour costs – have been significantly greater than
                                                                                   inflation and have put the industry at a serious disadvantage to competitors. The
                                                                                   IHF has made a submission to the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and
                                                                                   Local Government in relation to local authority charges. They have been active in
                                                                                   a number of areas that should improve competitiveness. These include making
                                                                                   arrangements with an alternative energy supply company, Energia, to provide
                                                                                   electricity at 5–12% lower than the ESB and the development of a best practice
                                                                                   code for the industry in the areas of energy, waste and water. The scheme is
                                                                                   entitled the Cleaner Greener Production Programme. It is funded through the
                                                                                   National Development Plan and managed by the Environmental Protection
                                                                                   Agency.
                                                                                   See also at 2.3 below.
p. 17    Government Action on Inflation (2.2).. implement the            Good         Details of actions to combat inflation have already been set out earlier in this
         package of anti-inflation actions identified in Strategic     Progress/   Appendix (at 1.4).
         Success Driver 1.                                              Outputs
          Lead Role     Government/Department of Finance
p. 17    Benchmark the Competition (2.3) The price and product           Good          Tourism Ireland benchmarks interest in visiting Ireland using Brand Tracking
         offerings against which Irish tourism competes should be      Progress/   research in the 10 largest source markets each May/June.
         identified each year and the information widely distributed    Outputs
         within the industry.                                                          In 2004, Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland developed a positioning paper that
                                                                                   benchmarked Ireland’s competitiveness. The study investigated Ireland’s appeal
          Lead Role     Tourism Industry Representative Bodies/                    and positioning in Britain, US, France and Germany. The report benchmarked
                        Fáilte Ireland/ Tourism Ireland                            Dublin and Belfast prices on leading Internet sites for flights, hotels and car hire
                                                                                   compared to five other cities in Europe. It also outlined visitors' ratings on their
                                                                                   holiday experience in Ireland.
                                                                                       ITIC has commenced a major research project ‘Tourism Competitiveness’ –
                                                                                   The Economic Imperative’ This research will include benchmarking Ireland’s
                                                                                   competitiveness vis a vis its chief competitors, defining issues that Industry can
                                                                                   tackle, and issues that are outside its control. The study will also be prescriptive
                                                                                   on measures to redress any loss in competitiveness.
                                                                                        Sectoral studies have also been undertaken on Inland cruising and Angling.
                                                                                   Work is ongoing in the equestrian area, as well as golf and walking. Sailing,
                                                                                   Cruise ships, Wellness and Cycling are under consideration for the 2005/6 period.
                                                                                   Fáilte Ireland, as part of the preparation of a Product Development Strategy for the
                                                                                   2007-2012 period, is currently benchmarking the product offerings in competitor
                                                                                   destinations. IHF is working with Fáilte Ireland on their Best Practice programme
                                                                                   module, which includes benchmarking exercises in award winning hotels in
                                                                                   Germany and Spain, under the Optimus banner.




                                                                                                                                                                            7
        Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                                  (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

                                                                                  The Coach Tourism Council has commissioned a benchmarking study of
                                                                              comparable charges with the French Coach Tourism Sector – the report is now
                                                                              being completed.
                                                                                   The RAI has undertaken research on the operational costs for restaurants in
                                                                              other member states, and mounted a campaign to address the claims of excessive
                                                                              charging. In June 2005, the RAI launched a leaflet entitled ‘Do You Know?’ as
                                                                              part of their awareness campaign, Dine At the Sign, to encourage consumers and
                                                                              visitors to use restaurants where they see the RAI logo. The leaflet chronicles
                                                                              some statistics for consumers and makes comparisons between some basic
                                                                              restaurant commodities in Spain and Ireland.
                                                                                  A strong feature of managing car rental companies in recent years is the close
                                                                              monitoring of car rental rates offered by competitors. Due to the transparency of
                                                                              website displays, pricing is a constant management function and leads to almost
                                                                              daily adjustment of rates based on benchmarking the competition.
                                                                                  As mentioned earlier in this Appendix, ITOA engaged consultants to prepare a
                                                                              report on the impact of VAT on prices and competition.
                                                                                  In co-operation with Fáilte Ireland, Town and Country Homes Association
                                                                              (T&CHA) is currently benchmarking the sector's competitiveness against
                                                                              international markets. The Irish Boat Rental Association (IBRA) is currently
                                                                              awaiting a copy of a study of hire cruising in European waters– being prepared for
                                                                              the French government. Initial indications are that hire cruising in Western Europe
                                                                              is currently in decline.
p. 17     New Management Development Capability Programme           Good           Fáilte Ireland has informed the Implementation Group that there has been a
         (2.4): Fáilte Ireland should develop and introduce a     Progress/   fundamental shift in its training policy towards Capability Development
         programme on management development capability for the    Outputs    Programming and it has launched a new suite of industry support programmes in
         industry                                                             2004 and 2005 (as outlined later in this Appendix). It
                                                                                 • set up a Human Resource Development Steering Group, chaired by Dr. Frank
          Lead Role   Fáilte Ireland                                               Roche, in June 2004
                                                                                 • launched its new Performance Plus programme (see 2.5) in Spring 2005
                                                                                 • now includes a high e-learning content in the wider HRD programmes and
                                                                                 • includes a business mentoring dimension as a final link into the application
                                                                                   and practice of skills developed during the programme.
                                                                                   In addition Fáilte Ireland launched a new Management Development
                                                                              Programme in October 2004. This programme ran until May 2005, and was
                                                                              delivered in collaboration with Cornell University. A total of 25 participants
                                                                              attended the programme. The second programme began in October 2005 and will
                                                                              run until May 2006. A total of 25 participants have signed up for this.




                                                                                                                                                                    8
        Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                                  (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

p. 18   Customer Relations Management (2.5) Fáilte Ireland             Good            Fáilte Ireland has developed the Performance Plus (see 2.8 also) programme,
        should develop and introduce a programme to improve the      Progress/     incorporating an extranet facility for use by the Irish tourism industry. This facility
        standards of the tourism industry in customer relations      Ongoing       allows each enterprise to benchmark its own performance. In addition it also
        management (CRM), (Strategic Success Drivers 4 and 6                       includes recommendations on how to improve capabilities in these areas.
        also refer)
                                                                                      The ITIC study – Investment in Overseas Marketing 2004 – confirmed the
          Lead Role   Fáilte Ireland in partnership with Tourism                   continued growth in investment in technology across all sectors and tourism
                      Industry Representative Bodies                               businesses, with a high level of connectivity to the internet and the industry using
                                                                                   new, and more cost efficient, promotional and distribution channels.
                                                                                       The B&B sector is participating in training courses on customer care,
                                                                                   standards, marketing, using the web and cost management etc., run by Fáilte
                                                                                   Ireland; Fáilte Ireland is distributing manuals/ information to all members and
                                                                                   T&CHA are designing a Customer Care form to allow members to keep in touch
                                                                                   with customers. ITOA advises that most of its members have on line real time
                                                                                   reservation systems.
                                                                                       Through www.irelandhotels.com, the IHF will be initiating a CRM model,
                                                                                   offering consumers the choice of over 1,000 hotels and guesthouses throughout
                                                                                   Ireland. With a wide selection of offers and activity breaks and last minute rates, it
                                                                                   is anticipated that the CRM model will be launched early in 2006. With over
                                                                                   25,000 unique visitors a week to the site, an effective CRM model has the
                                                                                   potential to substantially increase business.
                                                                                       Through its publication ‘Bushmills Malt Restaurant and Event Guide’, the RAI
                                                                                   produces the ‘Irish Restaurant Oscars’. These prestigious awards are
                                                                                   fundamental in raising standards and competitiveness within the sector. This
                                                                                   publication has established itself as the most comprehensive listing of restaurants
                                                                                   within the country and 100,000 copies are distributed annually.
                                                                                       Car hire companies affiliated to leading international brands operate to the
                                                                                   stringent quality standards and customer relations policies imposed by contractual
                                                                                   franchise conditions. The Car Rental Council of Ireland maintains a code of
                                                                                   conduct, which is reviewed regularly and has developed its customer complaints
                                                                                   service, which yields a response to customers in all cases.
p. 18   Competition (2.6) Strongly support competition, or pro-        Good           Details of progress were set out earlier (at 1.2).
        competition regulation where market competition does not     Progress/
        operate (Strategic Success Driver 1 also refers)              Ongoing
p. 18    Management/Employee Partnerships (2.7)                    Slow Progress       The Car Rental Council of Ireland introduced an award scheme based on the
         management/employee partnership arrangements to                           Fáilte Ireland “Welcome Awards” in 2005.
         enhance performance, productivity and competitiveness
         should be strongly encouraged                                                The IHF has devised a project to deliver on this recommendation in 2006,
                                                                                   seeking, initially, information from members who already have some
          Lead Role   Tourism Industry Representative Bodies                       management/employee partnerships in place.




                                                                                                                                                                             9
        Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                                  (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

p. 18    Make High Standards the Competitive Advantage of                 Good           A new Tourism Best Practice Initiative, Optimus, was developed by Fáilte
         Irish Tourism (2.8) ..., a relentless upgrading of standards   Progress/   Ireland with Excellence Ireland and launched in May 2004. It is a total business
         within the tourism sector should be promoted                   Ongoing     excellence model and is linked to the European Foundation for Quality
                                                                                    Management (EFQM) family of awards. The initiative is being rolled out following
                                                                                    the pilot study.
                       Fáilte Ireland/Tourism Industry                                  New classification proposals for hotels have been drafted by Fáilte Ireland and
          Lead Role
                       Representative Bodies                                        are being progressively agreed with the Irish Hotels Federation - new criteria have
                                                                                    been agreed and tested for 3 star properties while arrangements for the 4 star
                                                                                    category are almost completed and work is underway in relation to the 5 star
                                                                                    category. A parallel system will operate in 2006 with full implementation of the
                                                                                    new system in 2007.
                                                                                        To assist the Industry to regain competitiveness, Fáilte Ireland has launched a
                                                                                    range of additional practical Programmes for individual enterprises. Its
                                                                                    “Performance Plus” package introduced in February 2005 covers –
                                                                                                   o Financial Benchmarking
                                                                                                   o Environmental Management
                                                                                                   o E-Business Approaches
                                                                                    In addition, a Business Solutions Tool Kit, which will be of particular value to
                                                                                    smaller tourism enterprises is being rolled out.
                                                                                       Finally, a Professional Advice Platform or Help Line facilitates businesses
                                                                                    concerned about employment issues.
                                                                                        FÁS delivered a project aimed at establishing national job training
                                                                                    programmes for car rental personnel.
                                                                                        The IBRA operates a 'Code of Practice' to monitor standards and safety of hire
                                                                                    cruising on the Shannon and Grand Canal in the absence of any statutory
                                                                                    regulations.
p. 19     Stronger Role for Tourism Industry Representative               Good           The main Irish tourism industry representative body, the Irish Tourist Industry
          Bodies (2.9) ...                                              Progress/   Confederation (ITIC), has taken responsibility for coordinating and engaging its
          • identifying and promoting competitiveness enhancing          Outputs    members, through the industry representative groups, in the implementation of the
             actions                                                                Tourism Action Plan. ITIC has allocated resources and designated an official to
          • facilitating joint cooperative action between enterprises               work with the Implementation Group Secretariat. ITIC does not see itself as
             in areas such as marketing, training and insurance                     delivering on specific recommendations in the Action Plan but acknowledges that
             provision                                                              its individual members will have crucial roles to play in their delivery.
          • joint product development initiatives                                       In April, 2004, IHF appointed a strategy Manager to implement a series of
          • the establishment of management networks at local                       actions that are in line with the Report of the Review Group including
             and regional level
                                                                                        o the establishment of the Dublin Convention Bureau
          • providing training supports in productivity                                 o the Hibernia College on line Masters in Hospitality Management, and
             enhancement, cost management, marketing and                                o the IHF Branch Marketing initiatives.
             customer relations management
          • benchmarking performance of Irish tourism                                   ITIC developed an extensive research programme for 2004 and 2005
          • investing in research and planning                                      including studies on tourism industry performance, industry spend in overseas

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Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                          (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

                                                                   markets, future product development needs and incentives, the harmonisation of
                                                                   indirect taxation and the regional distribution of promotable visitors. ITIC is also
  Lead Role   Tourism Industry Representative Bodies               developing a Tourism Development Plan 2007 –2013 for inclusion in the National
                                                                   Development Plan. A sub-committee is currently addressing the capability and
                                                                   resources of ITIC with a view to further strengthening its co-ordinating role and
                                                                   industry representation on key strategic bodies including the new Regional
                                                                   Tourism boards.
                                                                   T&CHA has undertaken a review of the association and developed a 5-year plan.
                                                                       In 2005, the IHF carried out an internal review, and membership survey, on
                                                                   the role and operations of the organisation and to identify key action points for the
                                                                   future. It is hoped to continue this work over the next year and to action the
                                                                   recommendations. The IHF is also actively involved on a wide range of external
                                                                   committees that strengthens its role.
                                                                       In December 2005 ITOA strengthened its operations with the appointment of a
                                                                   new Chief Executive. A major element of the Chief Executive’s role is to establish
                                                                   an efficient and cost effective communications programme both within the ITOA
                                                                   and more importantly with the industry at large. The ITOA is also about to
                                                                   commission a research project on e-marketing within the organization, with a view
                                                                   to developing both its own web-site and also to assist member companies identify
                                                                   opportunities through e-marketing
                                                                       The RAI continues to strengthen its role as a major contributor to the tourism
                                                                   industry. The Association commissioned consultants to undertake a members'
                                                                   business survey to benchmark key business activities and their impact on
                                                                   profitability.
                                                                        Through the Car Rental Council, the car hire sector actively engages with
                                                                   Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland and participates in a range of forums and
                                                                   activities. For example, a collaborative effort with Tourism Ireland, to which the
                                                                   Council contributed 50% of costs, yielded a core promotional brochure Touring
                                                                   Ireland by Car which is distributed at trade shows, overseas offices, call centres
                                                                   and local tourist information offices. The Council is represented on the Welcome
                                                                   Awards advisory committee and serves on Tourism Ireland’s e-Marketing
                                                                   Partnership Group.
                                                                       IBRA comprises just eight members and finds it difficult to develop stronger
                                                                   partnerships other than with ITIC and Waterways Ireland.




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        Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                                  (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

p. 19    Training (2.10) Develop specific training supports to     Good         Fáilte Ireland has developed and conducted a series of two-day cost
         enhance the industry's capability in cost management.   Progress/   management training programmes.
                                                                  Outputs
                                                                                  Fáilte Ireland's new business support initiative, Performance Plus, mentioned
                                                                             earlier, addresses the issue of Cost Management. The Business Initiative Tool Kit
                       Fáilte Ireland/Tourism Industry                       will also enhance capability in terms of cost competitiveness.
          Lead Role
                       Representative Bodies
                                                                                 A working collaboration has been developed with the Association of Certified
                                                                             Chartered Accountants (ACCA) – a leading professional accountancy body – with
                                                                             a view to offering the Diploma in Financial Management to managers in the
                                                                             tourism sector. The Diploma in Financial Management has been delivered for a
                                                                             group of tourism managers in autumn 2004 and 2005.
                                                                                  The IHF works closely with Fáilte Ireland and sits on many of its curricula
                                                                             development committees. In 2005, the IHF identified the need to carry out a Yield
                                                                             Management programme to assist members with their internet reservations to
                                                                             ensure the best yield/rate could be obtained. A day-long workshop in yield
                                                                             management conducted by the University of Lausanne was well attended and
                                                                             received by the participants. The IHF also recognises the need for management
                                                                             training and continuous professional development programmes. The first of these
                                                                             took place in Trinity College in August 2005 with a week-long programme in
                                                                             Negotiations, Leadership and Conflict Resolution. The programme was hosted
                                                                             jointly by the IHF and Hibernia College and was conducted by the Kennedy School
                                                                             in Harvard. A series of tax audit workshops has been scheduled to update
                                                                             members on the requirement of the Tax Audit Code and give advice on how to
                                                                             keep fully compliant. Regular training seminars and workshops are held
                                                                             throughout the country to keep members up to date with ongoing developments on
                                                                             the IHF Marketing site, www.irelandhotels.com, and new initiatives.
                                                                                   Following the successful pilot training programme, funded by Skillnets 2002-
                                                                             2004, the RAI has been successful in obtaining development funding to enable it
                                                                             to make an application for funding to provide a four year training programme for
                                                                             owners, managers and operatives within the restaurant business in specific areas.
                                                                             It is envisioned that 120 establishments, which have already pledged their support
                                                                             for these programmes, will participate.
                                                                                 Skills required in the hire cruising industry are primarily mechanical, basic
                                                                             customer relations and bookkeeping abilities. The question of a standardised
                                                                             course of instruction when handing over cruisers to customers is being considered
                                                                             in conjunction with the Marine Safety Directorate.




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        Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                                  (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

Strategic Success Driver 3              Access Transport

Page                          Recommendation                                  Status                               Action Taken by December 2005
p. 20    Ireland-US Bilateral Air Agreement (3.1)                              Good             Following a number of meetings in 2005, the Minister for Transport reached an
         • Renegotiate the Ireland-US Bilateral Air Agreement, in            Progress/     agreement with the US authorities, in November, on special transitional
              advance of an EU-US Aviation Agreement                         Ongoing       arrangements for Shannon, which are now included as part of the proposed EU-
         • Establish a high-level Task Force to advise on the                              US air transport agreement. Ireland is the only EU country to secure transitional
              issues involved                                                              arrangements in the proposed Agreement. The text of the EU-US Agreement is
          Lead Role Department of Transport                                                finalised. Pending US clarification on new US rules on ownership and control
                                                                                           issues, the Agreement will come before the Transport Council in March or June
                                                                                           2006 for approval.
                                                                                               Earlier in 2005 the IHF participated as co-funder and served on the Steering
                                                                                           Group for the Chambers of Commerce of Ireland (CCI) report which highlighted
                                                                                           how Ireland’s economic activity could grow by 10% if a liberal EU/US open area
                                                                                           aviation agreement were implemented. The report, EU/US Air Transport
                                                                                           Agreement – Potential Impact on Ireland, benchmarks the benefits offered by an
                                                                                           EU/US open air aviation agreement and confirmed the findings of the report,
                                                                                           conducted by the Brattle Group for the European Commission (December 2002)
                                                                                           that an EU-US agreement would lead to an increase of over 150,000 passengers
                                                                                           per year, and benefit the Irish economy by nearly €100 million.
p. 20    Dublin Airport Terminal Facilities: (3.2) Facilitate              Slow Progress       In May 2005, the Government agreed on an aviation action plan that will
         additional, competitive, fast turnaround terminal facilities at                   enable the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) to deliver the second terminal and extra
         Dublin Airport to help develop additional air services,                           pier capacity at Dublin Airport. New pier facilities for aircraft are due to come on
         particularly from Mainland Europe.                                                stream in 2007 and the new terminal will come into operation in 2009. Both
          Lead Role Department of Transport                                                developments will be important in responding to passenger requirements and in
                                                                                           improving the attractiveness of the airport to visitors.
                                                                                              As regard the competitiveness of the facilities, final decisions on the
                                                                                           specifications of the second terminal will be made after consultation with airlines
                                                                                           and independent verification of the project's scope and costings.
p. 20    Dublin Airport Visitor Reception Facilities (3.3)                 Slow Progress       Visitor facilities at Dublin Airport have been enhanced, over the past two
         Implement a series of actions to improve visitor reception                        years, with the establishment of a Passenger Services Council (which has
         facilities at Dublin Airport including baggage handling,                          completed a Passenger Charter); detailed service level agreements with airlines
         information and general facilities in arrivals/departures                         and ground service providers; reconfiguration of "airside" facilities; the
         areas.                                                                            appointment of a senior manager to co-ordinate customer service initiatives and
          Lead Role Aer Rianta/Dublin Airport Authority                                    the recruitment of up to ninety staff to provide additional support at the security
                                                                                           screening areas. A volunteer taskforce, largely comprising office staff, has been
                                                                                           established to provide additional passenger service support at peak periods.




                                                                                                                                                                                 13
        Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                                  (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

p. 21    Additional Air-Routes: (3.4) Actively pursue the best               Good
         prospects for additional route access into Ireland from           Progress/       The access landscape across the Island of Ireland showed significant
         Mainland Europe and Britain with airport authorities and air       Outputs     improvement in both 2004 and 2005. Highlights for the year included:
         carriers, (Strategic Success Driver 6 also refers)                                 • The arrival in Ireland of leading European companies like Easyjet and
                                                                                                TUI (Thompsonfly and HPX)
                       Tourism Ireland in conjunction with airlines                         • New transatlantic services
          Lead Role
                       and airport authorities                                              • European developments to Cork and Shannon and steady improvement
                                                                                                of the position of Knock in the British market.
                                                                                            • Good co-operation with Air Route Development in Northern Ireland and a
                                                                                                recognition of the potential for the North West of new services into Belfast
                                                                                                - particularly from North America
                                                                                            • A recognition by established carriers that regional airports offer potential
                                                                                                both for themselves and competition trying to break into the Irish market.
                                                                                           Summer capacity increased by 37% from Europe, 17% from US and 16% from
                                                                                        Great Britain. The summer schedules provided almost 50,000 extra seats per
                                                                                        week by air into Ireland – mainly into regional airports.
                                                                                            The 2005 winter schedules have seen some carriers switch British capacity in
                                                                                        response to their competitor’s positions or other opportunities emerging from the
                                                                                        Public Service Obligation arrangements. There has been continued expansion of
                                                                                        new routes to Europe by the major carriers and, with effect from December 2005,
                                                                                        there is a direct service from Bahrain to Dublin 3 times a week.
                                                                                            Tourism Ireland has estimated that about two dozen of the new air routes have
                                                                                        potential for significant additional inbound business and has taken action to exploit
                                                                                        that potential.
                                                                                        Tourism Ireland marketing activity for 2005 was designed to tackle the regionality
                                                                                        challenge as well as achieve overall forecast growth. In Britain, Sunday
                                                                                        supplements featured regional attractions and highlighted region to region direct
                                                                                        services. In Europe, market offices selected regions served by new air services
                                                                                        for special attention and prioritisation in familiarisation trips and press coverage.
                                                                                        The new services to Shannon provided the US office with an opportunity to market
                                                                                        the Shannon region strongly and to use inaugural flights to focus attention on
                                                                                        enduring features of the Irish welcome.
p. 21    Regulation of Sea Ports: (3.5) Appoint a regulator, similar          Not          A different approach to addressing the concerns raised by the Review Group
         to that for aviation, to regulate port charges with a specific   Implemented   was adopted by the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural
         mandate to enhance facilities, services, competitiveness                       Resources. Following the launch of the Ports Policy Statement, the Minister of
         and transparency.                                                              State with responsibility for ports initiated a consultation process with port
                         * Department of Communications, Marine                         companies on a number of topics including Arbitration/ Regulation. In December
          Lead Role
                         and Natural Resources                                          2005, the consultation was broadened to bring in other interested parties and the
        * responsibility now with D/Transport                                           wider public. Ministerial decision(s) are expected to be made in early 2006.




                                                                                                                                                                            14
        Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                                  (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

p. 21    Visitor Facilities at Seaports: (3.6) Develop a                    Slow Progress      The Implementation Group has been informed by the Department of
         programme to improve facilities for visitors at major seaports                     Communications, Marine and Natural Resources that it considers that there has
         including information on arrival, improved reception facilities,                   been significant investment in this area in recent years, and the facilities compare
         easier and more attractive access through the ports.                               well with those provided outside Ireland.
          Lead Role Port Authorities
p. 21    National Roads: (3.7) Improve and upgrade the National                 Good            National Roads The National Development Plan provides for an ambitious
         Roads Programme (Strategic Success Driver 1 also refers)             Progress/     investment programme in national roads over the period. 2000-2006 including
                                                                               Outputs      upgrading of major inter-urban routes, the completion of the M50 orbital route and
                                                                                            better access to and from the main ports and airports. Good progress is being
                                                                                            maintained in the implementation of the national roads programme.
                        Department of Transport/Department of
          Lead Role     Environment, Heritage and Local                                          o   Since 2000, a total of 58 projects (422 kms) have been completed,
                        Government                                                                   including major projects on the M1 from Dublin to Dundalk, M4 Kinnegad
                                                                                                     / Enfield Bypass, N6 Loughrea Bypass, M7 Kildare Bypass, M7
                                                                                                     Monasterevin Bypass, M50 South Eastern Motorway, N7 Limerick
                                                                                                     Southern Ring Road (Phase 1), N8 Cashel Bypass, N8 Watergrasshill
                                                                                                     Bypass, N11 Glen of the Downs, N2 Carrickmacross Bypass and N4
                                                                                                     Sligo Inner Relief Road
                                                                                                 o   Work is continuing on 25 projects (234 kms) throughout the country,
                                                                                                     including the N2 Casleblaney and Monaghan Bypass, N7 Naas Road
                                                                                                     Widening, N8 Fermoy Bypass, N11 Arklow/ Gorey Bypass, N15
                                                                                                     Ballyshannon/Bundoran Bypass and N18 Ennis Bypass. Also, 13
                                                                                                     projects (82 kms) are due for completion including the M50 Dublin Port
                                                                                                     Tunnel, N55 Cavan Bypass, N2 Ashbourne Bypass and N15
                                                                                                     Balyshannon/ Bundoran Bypass.
                                                                                                 o   11 projects (276kms) are at tender stage (tenders sought or to be sought
                                                                                                     in 2006) including M3 Clonee to South of Virginia, N5 Charlestown
                                                                                                     Bypass, N6 Kinnegad/Athlone Phase 2, N6 Galway/Ballinasloe and
                                                                                                     N7/N8 Portlaoise/Cullahill/Mountrath and N7 Limerick Southern Ring
                                                                                                     Road Phase 2.
                                                                                                Non-national roads For 2006, the Department of Environment, Heritage and
                                                                                            Local Government (DEHLG) has allocated a sum of €558 million mostly to local
                                                                                            authorities for the non-national roads programme. This is the highest allocation
                                                                                            ever and represents an increase of almost €62.5 million on the record 2005
                                                                                            allocation. The non-national roads measure is regarded as one of the major
                                                                                            success stories of the National Development Plan as it continues to be one of the
                                                                                            best performing measures in both the S&E and the BMW Regions.




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        Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                                  (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

p. 22    Signposting: (3.8) Prioritise major tourism routes in the   Slow Progress       The National Roads Authority (NRA) has allocated over €3.6 million on new
         National and Regional Road Signposting Programmes                           directional signage during the period 2003 to 2005 on the national road network.
                     (Strategic Success Driver 1 also refers)
                                                                                         The NRA has advised that it will launch, in 2006, a major road signage
                                                                                     upgrade programme involving total expenditure of €60 million over the next four
                                                                                     years. The programme will incorporate new and improved directional signage,
                       Department of Transport/Department of                         new tourism signage and update existing signage. It has advised also that it will
          Lead Role    Environment, Heritage and Local                               work with local authorities and Fáilte Ireland to provide the best local and national
                       Government                                                    signage.
                                                                                          In 2003 a 5-year Regional Roads Signposting Programme on non-national
        Note: Directional signposting is a matter for the National                   roads commenced. One of the aims of the programme is to facilitate tourists and
        Roads Authority and the Local Authorities.                                   it is intended that directional signposts will be provided at significant junctions on
                                                                                     all regional roads. A sum of €5.1 million was allocated to a number of local
                                                                                     authorities in 2003 to implement the programme (similar provisions were made in
                                                                                     2004 and 2005). However all activity was suspended at the end of 2003 pending
                                                                                     clarification of the legislative provisions in relation to road signage. Clarification
                                                                                     was received in May 2005 from the Department of Transport and local authorities
                                                                                     were then asked to proceed, as a matter of urgency, with the programme.
                                                                                     Expenditure on the Regional Road Signposting Programme in 2005 amounted to
                                                                                     some €578,000. For 2006, a sum of €6.64 million has been allocated to local
                                                                                     authorities under the Programme.
                                                                                         The Report on the Consultancy Project, assessing the existing signage at the
                                                                                     Brú na Bóinne UNESCO World Heritage Site and recommending improved
                                                                                     signage in the area, has been completed. At present, the report being considered
                                                                                     by the DEHLG, in consultation with the Office of Public Works (OPW) and the Brú
                                                                                     na Bóinne Consultative Committee. Any revision of the 1988 Guidelines to
                                                                                     Planning Authorities will take account of general principles or recommendations
                                                                                     arising from the study to address the signage requirements at the Brú na Bóinne
                                                                                     site.
                                                                                         The Advance Direction Signs (ADS) and Direction Signs (DS) on national
                                                                                     roads are being designed in accordance with the Department of Transport's
                                                                                     Traffic Signs Manual, the current standard for signing and road marking. There is
                                                                                     a limit to the number of destinations that can be contained on an ADS and, in
                                                                                     order to achieve a consistency and a practical approach to the design of these
                                                                                     signs, the Traffic Signs Manual recommends that the terminal destination of the
                                                                                     route only (or major intermediate town in the case of National Secondary Roads)
                                                                                     be shown.




                                                                                                                                                                          16
        Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                                  (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

p. 22    Bus Services: (3.9) Bus Eireann should work more closely           Good          Bus Eireann has advised that it operates through a decentralised structure
         with the Regional Tourism Authorities to improve bus             Progress/   having nine Area Managers and a team of seven Sales Executives in strategic
         services to, and within, key tourist destinations.               Ongoing     locations so as to maximise customer contact at local level. Local managers
                                                                                      maintain ongoing contact with regional and county bodies including local tourism
                                                                                      agencies. Certain Expressway routes are designed to cater specifically for tourist
                                                                                      and holiday traffic in the peak season e.g Cork-Tralee, Tralee-Galway (via
                       Bus Eireann in consultation with Regional                      Tarbert/Cliffs of Moher) and Galway-Westport (via Clifden) in addition to a number
          Lead Role
                       Tourism Authorities                                            of local bus services (e.g. circular routes in Kerry and Sligo/Donegal).
                                                                                          Integrated ticketing between any two destinations is available as are a range
                                                                                      of "unlimited travel" tickets and the website provides an e-ticketing facility and
                                                                                      features a Journey Planner with links to a range of tourism-related sites and a
                                                                                      Places of Interest section.
                                                                                           Smartcards are being progressively rolled out on public transport services. In
                                                                                      April 2004, with the co-operation of the RPA, a private Bus Operator (Mortons
                                                                                      Coaches) launched a smartcard ticketing system on its services. A similar
                                                                                      smartcard system was made available on Luas services in 2005, and Dublin Bus
                                                                                      is to follow. The smartcard-based integrated ticketing system is scheduled to be
                                                                                      substantially in place in 2006.
p. 22    Rail Travel, Facilities and Customer Services: (3.10) A            Good          The current focus of Irish Rail's NDP-funded investment programme has been
         significant upgrading of station facilities, passenger           Progress/   on the renewal of rail infrastructure.
         communications and rolling stock on main inter-urban routes      Ongoing
         is required which, for example, makes provision for                              Work is advancing (and funding has been committed) towards a planned
                                                                                      increase in frequencies of over 60% on the service from Dublin to Cork, Limerick,
         • simplified ticketing arrangements for tourists to allow                    Sligo and Rosslare by 2007 with extra services to Galway, Tralee, Waterford and
              greater interchange between bus and rail services                       Westport to come on stream by 2008.
         • the priority delivery of electronic information systems at
              key transport locations for journey planning and on                        Rolling stock on intercity routes is to be replaced by 2008 – by which stage the
              board trains                                                            average age of carriages will be less than 3 years.
         • ensuring sufficient and adequate seating and luggage                           Performance in respect of key customer indicators (i.e. punctuality, reliability,
              facilities for all passengers on inter-urban routes                     cleanliness, frequency and comfort) is the subject of a quarterly review by the
         • higher standards of service in terms of punctuality,                       Department of Transport under the Memorandum of Understanding effective from
              cleanliness, reliability, frequency and comfort of trains               2005.
              and stations and more independent monitoring of
              customer service charters                                                   Other Customer Services that have been developed include– electronic
                                                                                      information screens at main railway Stations, website enhancement to include a
         • the priority deployment of modern rolling stock on key
                                                                                      Journey Planner, an online booking and seat reservation system, automatic ticket
              tourist routes.
                                                                                      vending machines. The Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) has been mandated
                                                                                      to deliver a national scheme of integrated ticketing with priority implementation in
          Lead Role    Irish Rail                                                     the Dublin area.




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        Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                                  (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

p. 22    Dublin Airport Metro Link: (3.11) Accelerate proposals   Slow Progress       "Transport 21" is the Government's medium term investment framework for
         for developing a metro link between Dublin airport and                   transport and includes a proposal for a Metro line (Metro North) from St. Stephen's
         Dublin city centre                                                       Green to the north of Swords, via Dublin Airport.

          Lead Role   Department of Transport                                        The Public Consultation process for Metro North has begun.




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        Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                                  (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

Strategic Success Driver 4            Information and Communication Technologies

Page                         Recommendation                             Status                             Action Taken by December 2005
p. 23    Information and Communication Technologies                      Good          At the end of 2004 Tourism Ireland set out to revise its E-Marketing strategy,
         Development Programme: (4.1) Develop a programme              Progress/   in consultation with Fáilte Ireland, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Regional
         with the industry to maximise the use of information and      Ongoing     Tourism Authorities and the industry. The objective was to deliver a new
         communication technologies for training, marketing and                    consumer-driven, all-island approach to e-marketing. Extensive work was done to
         customer relations management                                             develop the strategy in 2005. An Industry E-Marketing partnership group was
                                                                                   established to facilitate industry input into Tourism Ireland’s consumer focused E-
          Lead Role    Fáilte Ireland/Tourism Ireland                              Marketing Strategy and development of the next generation website. The
                                                                                   inaugural meeting of the group took place on 20 June 2005. The group is made
                                                                                   up of 18 partners representing key sectors of the industry on the island of Ireland.
                                                                                   The new consumer sites are set to be launched in quarter 1 2006 with final roll out
                                                                                   completed by the end of quarter 2. In 2005, Tourism Ireland invested nearly €2
                                                                                   million on marketing the island of Ireland on the internet and spent an extra €1.1
                                                                                   million on e-marketing development. A similar budget has been earmarked for
                                                                                   2006. Tourism Ireland's website, www.discoverireland.com, attracted a record 5
                                                                                   million overseas visits in 2005 – of which some 1.5 million clicked through to
                                                                                   partner sites.
                                                                                        In 2005, www.ireland.ie was re-launched as the consumer site for Fáilte
                                                                                   Ireland. It is the most comprehensive site for booking breaks in Ireland, it will be
                                                                                   updated daily and has over 20,000 pages of holiday information. Over 600 offers
                                                                                   are currently on site and there is a twelve-month development plan to modify and
                                                                                   improve the site as customers use it. A key feature is the "Value Breaks" section
                                                                                   which is syndicated on two online channels www.pigsback.com and
                                                                                   www.unison.com . These channels have large numbers of domestic users who
                                                                                   will be able to easily book a value break through these sites. Other activities
                                                                                   being developed by Fáilte Ireland include the aligning of agencies' websites
                                                                                   (working closely with the Regional Tourism Authorities); the launch of e-zines for
                                                                                   different product areas such as golf, walking, water based activities etc. See 4.5
                                                                                   below for more details of IT actions by the Tourism State Agencies.
                                                                                      T&CHA launched its new website booking engine in July 2004. In November
                                                                                   2004, it visited all counties with a website specialist to train members and since
                                                                                   January 2005, 200 members have online booking systems. There are 6 website
                                                                                   templates for members who wish to develop their own website (with capacity to
                                                                                   host the booking engine).
p. 23    Support Programme: (4.2) Support the industry in the            Good         ICT skills development is an integral component of Fáilte Ireland's Optimus
         introduction and development of effective customer friendly   Progress/   programme and includes competitor benchmarking/case studies; in-company
         e-commerce applications and in building capability in their   Ongoing     consultancy /mentoring; and seminars. Fáilte Ireland has finalised the updating of
         use.                                                                      ‘Guide to Marketing your Product/Service on the Web’.
          Lead Role Fáilte Ireland



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        Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                                  (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

p. 23    Co-operative Networks: (4.3) Promote best practice              Good          Co-operative networks and best practice models have been incorporated into
         models of co-operative networks in the application of         Progress/   the development of the successful www.irelandhotels.com website.
         information and communication technologies and e-             Ongoing
         commerce strategies.                                                          Many sectors of the industry report that they have significantly increased
                                                                                   transactions through the internet e.g. 90% of Irish Farm Holidays Association
                                                                                   members currently use the internet. This development was supported by e-
                       The Tourism Industry Representative                         commerce courses provided by Fáilte Ireland for individual owners. The ITOA
          Lead Role
                       Bodies                                                      advises that most of its members have on line real time reservation systems.
                                                                                   Marketing of the Shannon River region is now unified with a strategy of Internet
                                                                                   promotion through the website www.boatingholidays.com.
                                                                                       A number of industry sectors provide co-operative platforms for members,
                                                                                   including small and micro enterprises, to participate in marketing initiatives –
                                                                                   including representation and attendance at consumer /trade shows.
                                                                                        To increase effectiveness, the IHF has established strategic partnerships to
                                                                                   enhance the awareness of www.irelandhotels.com with the aim of increasing the
                                                                                   number of visitors to the site. Examples are the availability of IHF special offers on
                                                                                   Tourism Ireland and market websites and promotions on the Pigsback site. The
                                                                                   Federation is continuing to examine possible co-operative partnerships to more
                                                                                   effectively distribute members’ hotel offers, whilst offering the consumer more
                                                                                   value. The IHF has developed co-operative networks with the Irish Hospitality
                                                                                   Institute (IHI) on environmental issues and in the area of training, with the Food
                                                                                   Safety Authority and with ITIC.
                                                                                        One of the RAI training programmes referred to earlier in 2.10 is on
                                                                                    Information Technology. It is envisioned that comprehensive IT programmes will
                                                                                    be offered to RAI Members and their staff to improve communications, and more
                                                                                    importantly, to also give the skills to each establishment to help them market and
                                                                                    promote their business.
p. 23    Training Courses – New Technologies: (4.4)                      Good          Trainees on programmes directly provided by Fáilte Ireland through its
         • Ensure that training courses operated directly, or          Progress/   Training Centres, have access to computer facilities as a part of their course.
             supported, by Fáilte Ireland involve a computer use and    Outputs    Much of this is elementary and/or "return to work" skills and trainees develop a
             operation module.                                                     level of familiarisation and practice in computer use that will enable them to
         • Make it an objective that graduates from Fáilte Ireland                 operate relevant technology in the workplace.
             operated or supported courses are proficient in the use                   All further and higher education students on courses supported by Fáilte
             and application of new technologies                                   Ireland in Institutes of Technology have routine access to Information Technology
          Lead Role Fáilte Ireland                                                 as an integral part of the resources available to them and, in this way, they are
                                                                                   enabled to develop computer skills appropriate to their course.




                                                                                                                                                                       20
        Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                                  (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

p. 24    Leadership Role for State Agencies: (4.5) Fáilte Ireland          Good        As indicated above Tourism Ireland set out to revise its E-Marketing Strategy in
         and Tourism Ireland should be seen as strong leaders in the     Progress/     2004. The aim of the review was to have a world-class global presence on-line.
         application of information and communication technologies        Outputs      Tourism Ireland based the future direction of its E-Marketing on a "consumer first"
                                                                                       approach while co-ordinating with industry partners, to ensure they provide
                                                                                       suitable platforms for sales, and with FI/NITB/Regions, to ensure they avoid
                                                                                       duplication and/or gaps.
          Lead Role    Fáilte Ireland/Tourism Ireland
                                                                                       Following a series of meetings, both Fáilte Ireland and the Northern Ireland Tourist
                                                                                       Board have agreed to allow Tourism Ireland access to their information databases
                                                                                       to deliver content for the Tourism Ireland next generation website. Tourism Ireland
                                                                                       has launched a splash page redirecting domestic visitors to the NITB or
                                                                                       www.ireland.ie websites. The latter site also includes a function to redirect
                                                                                       overseas visitors to www.discoverireland.com
                                                                                       Tourism Ireland launched an innovative online marketing programme in August
                                                                                       2005 – described as the world's first on-line “travelmentary” – the “TAXI”
                                                                                       promotion. It followed a duo of tourists travelling around the island of Ireland on a
                                                                                       ten-day road trip. Their adventures were broadcast live over the web on
                                                                                       www.tourismireland.com/taxi.
p. 24    Award/Recognition Schemes: (4.6) Fáilte Ireland should        Slow Progress       This recommendation is under review.
         establish, promote and widely communicate awards to
         acknowledge excellence in the application of information
         and communication technologies.
          Lead Role Fáilte Ireland




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        Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                                  (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

Strategic Success Driver 5              Product Development and Innovation

Page                         Recommendation                               Status                                Action Taken by December 2005
p. 25    Reinvestment in Capital Stock: (5.1) (Strategic Success           Good            Details of progress were set out earlier at 1.4.
         Driver 1 also refers)                                           Progress/
          Lead Role Fáilte Ireland/Tourism Industry Rep. Bodies          Ongoing
                        /Regional Tourism Authorities
p. 25    Innovation Fund: (5.2) Establish, on a pilot basis, for a 3       Good             The only capital funding administered by Fáilte Ireland is the European
         year period, an innovation fund to promote and support on a     Progress/     Regional Development Fund monies allocated to the Tourism Product
         competitive basis, the development of tourism products that      Outputs      Development Scheme 2002-2006. There was no capital budget line available in
         are new to the Irish market.                                                  2004 or 2005 for an Innovation Fund and an alternative approach was developed
                                                                                       with a view to providing funding towards feasibility studies on products new to the
          Lead Role    Fáilte Ireland                                                  Irish market. It was piloted in the mid-west region by Shannon Development.
                                                                                            Details of Fáilte Ireland's Innovation Fund scheme were launched late in 2005
                                                                                       and applications have been invited.
p. 25    Product Clusters: (5.3) achieve a better presentation and     Slow Progress        Fáilte Ireland supports sixteen niche product -marketing groups. They were
         more integrated and cooperative marketing of clusters of                      reviewed in the context of Fáilte Ireland's Corporate Strategy, 2005/8 with a view
         products that complement each other.                                          to seeing how product clustering might ensure more adequate product coverage
                                                                                       and regional spread, within an all Ireland basis where appropriate.
                                                                                           Some product clustering initiatives reported to the Implementation Group were
                       Groups of Tourism Product
          Lead Role                                                                        o The successful joint marketing initiative for 2004 by Heritage Island (HI)
                       Suppliers/Regional Tourism
                                                                                             and the Blue Book (established co-operative marketing organisations) that
                       Authorities/Fáilte Ireland
                                                                                             has since been extended into 2005 and 2006
                                                                                           o HI's marketing of the Heritage Towns of Ireland since 2004; its pilot project,
                                                                                             in conjunction with Theatre Forum, to integrate the performing arts and
                                                                                             entertainment venues into tourism product/marketing through promotional
                                                                                             activities/website links including joint Visitors Attractions/ Theatre venues
                                                                                             promotional brochures with discount offers to consumers
                                                                                           o The ITOA proposal to carry out, in conjunction with Fáilte Ireland and the
                                                                                             Regional Tourism Authorities, a feasibility study on commercial
                                                                                             opportunities in two separate locations (i.e. North Clare/East Galway and
                                                                                             East Cork/Waterford) where visitors might experience a mix of built and
                                                                                             cultural heritage and soft activities to enhance their holiday experience
                                                                                           o The Dublin Branch of the Irish Hotels Federation has designed and placed
                                                                                             in all bedrooms a brochure on the ‘10 things to do in Dublin’. The
                                                                                             possibility of extending this initiative countrywide is being explored.
                                                                                           o The RAI developed a voucher card system for sale in retail outlets
                                                                                             throughout the country i.e. supermarkets, garages etc.
                                                                                           o a new marketing initiative by the industry, supported by the Tourism State
                                                                                             Agencies, in clustering cultural products on key websites. The Heritage
                                                                                             Island pilot project to integrate performing arts and entertainment venues
                                                                                             into tourism product/marketing has been expanded for 2006 through the
                                                                                             inclusion of selected festivals and traditional music venues. A new micro

                                                                                                                                                                         22
        Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                                  (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

                                                                                         site www.cultureheritageireland.com offering discounts to over 130 venues
                                                                                         (all Ireland) will be featured on www.discoverireland.com backed up by full
                                                                                         colour brochure for overseas and domestic markets
p. 26    Product Research: (5.4) Identify international trends in     Good           In 2004 the Tourism State Agencies developed a full research programme to
         the supply and demand of tourism products                  Progress/   address this recommendation. They meet with the Northern Ireland Tourist Board
                                                                     Outputs    every six weeks to co-ordinate their research activity and annual programmes.
                                                                                2020 Insight is a sustained programme of competitor analysis of emerging activity
                                                                                and attraction opportunities for Irish tourism. The findings are communicated to
          Lead Role    Fáilte Ireland/Tourism Ireland/Tourism                   the industry through established communication channels.
                       Industry Representative Bodies jointly
                                                                                     Tourism Ireland launched detailed profiles of Ireland’s best prospects within
                                                                                the top four source markets (Great Britain, USA, France and Germany) in Summer
                                                                                2004 and the best prospects from the next largest markets (Italy, Canada,
                                                                                Australia and the Netherlands) in August 2005. These profiles are available to
                                                                                industry via the website and on compact disk. In addition to the profiles Tourism
                                                                                Ireland produced Market Insights on Access to the Island of Ireland and the Aging
                                                                                Consumer.
                                                                                     In 2005, Tourism Ireland and an industry steering group completed a major
                                                                                review of the British market, and market strategies have been developed to deliver
                                                                                on market share growth. Growth will be delivered by focusing on promoting
                                                                                Ireland’s products in the British market.
                                                                                     In late 2005, Tourism Ireland initiated a review of the North American and New
                                                                                and Developing markets – in order to ensure that future marketing efforts are
                                                                                appropriate.
                                                                                      Fáilte Ireland has established an expert group to research and review the
                                                                                strategic options for addressing the development and presentation of the key
                                                                                product components of Irish tourism. This group is representative of public and
                                                                                private tourism and heritage product interests. The objective, in line with the
                                                                                recommendations of the New Horizons strategy is to provide guidance - for both
                                                                                public and private sector investment - on future market and sectoral trends,
                                                                                product development trends in competitor destinations, consumer expectations
                                                                                and reaction to existing products. The review will examine potential product
                                                                                opportunities, investor and stakeholder expectations, as well as specific regional
                                                                                development opportunities. It is intended that the report will provide a template for
                                                                                tourism product development in Ireland in the context of the National Development
                                                                                Plan for the period 2007-2013. It is expected to be available by June 2006.
                                                                                      The ITIC study ‘How Tourism to Ireland is changing – Regional Distribution’
                                                                                was published in June 2005. The findings confirmed that overseas holiday bed-
                                                                                nights in Dublin grew 41% from 1999 – 2003 but the trend in the West saw
                                                                                overseas bed-nights drop by 19% (2.7m). The report makes several
                                                                                recommendations, some adopted by the tourism agencies and others being
                                                                                developed.




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        Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                                  (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

p. 26    National Conference Centre: (5.5) Finalise the                   Good          The Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism announced in June 2003 that the
         Government commitment to establish a National Conference       Progress/   Government had agreed in principle to the provision of a National Conference
         Centre in Dublin (Strategic Success Driver 1 also refers)      Ongoing     Centre by way of a leasing, or other, arrangement through an open competitive
                                                                                    procurement process.
                                                                                        Following the rigorous assessment and evaluation of the tenders received, the
          Lead Role    Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism                        Minister announced, in November 2005, that the Spencer Dock International
                                                                                    Conference Centre Consortium was being invited to become the Provisional
                                                                                    Preferred Tenderer (PPT) for the provision of a National Conference Centre in
                                                                                    Dublin, as a Public Private Partnership (PPP) project. The next step is for the
                                                                                    OPW to negotiate, settle and agree any required amendments to the project
                                                                                    agreement with the PPT and for the PPT to resolve all outstanding due diligence
                                                                                    issues. This will lead to the appointment of the PPT as Preferred Tenderer (PT).
                                                                                    During the Preferred Tenderer phase, the PT will develop and provide the full
                                                                                    range of project documents that will require review and approval by the contracting
                                                                                    authority.
p. 26    National Sports Stadium: (5.6) finalise a decision on the      Completed       The Government decided, at the end of January 2004, to provide €191m.
         provision of a National Sports Stadium in Dublin. (Strategic               towards the joint Irish Rugby Football Union/Football Association of Ireland
         Success Driver 1 also refers)                                              (IRFU/FAI) project at Lansdowne Road for a 50,000 all seated stadium.
                                                                                    Construction is due to begin in 2006, for completion by end 2008. A Steering
                                                                                    Group under the chair of the Secretary General, Department of Arts, Sport and
                                                                                    Tourism, and representative of the IRFU, the FAI and the OPW, has been
                       Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism in                     appointed to advance the project. The formal agreement with the IRFU and FAI
          Lead Role    partnership with the main field sports                       has been signed, a Project Leader has been appointed and a separate company
                       organisations                                                has been set up to develop the project.
                                                                                        Funding was provided in the Government's Budget for 2006 to enable work to
                                                                                    commence on the first phase of the Abbotstown Sports Campus – one of the
                                                                                    outcomes will be that Ireland will be an attractive option as a training base for
                                                                                    international Olympic teams in the context of the London Olympics of 2012.




                                                                                                                                                                     24
        Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                                  (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

p. 26    Access Rights: (5.7) Establish clear guidelines and               Slow Progress        The Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs set up a Countryside
         codes of practice on rights of access for visitors to the                         Council, Comhairle na Tuaithe in January 2004 to address the three priority issues
         countryside, hills, mountains, coast and State-owned                              of (1) access to the countryside for recreational and leisure purposes, (2) the
         forestry and bring clarity to the legal position in relation to                   development of a countryside code and (3) the development a countryside
         public liability.                                                                 recreation strategy. Three working groups with a cross-section of stakeholders
                                                                                           were established in order to address these issues. Fáilte Ireland participates on
                                                                                           the Comhairle. Achievements of Comhairle na Tuaithe to date include
                         Department of Community, Rural and                                   o A major conference was held in November 2004 to develop ideas for a
                         Gaeltacht Affairs in consultation with farm                            Countryside Recreation Strategy and to develop further ways of progressing
          Lead Role      organisations, Local Authorities, Regional                             the aims and objectives of Comhairle na Tuaithe.
                         Tourism Authorities, Coillte and Fáilte                              o The members identified and reviewed a set of access parameters in the
                         Ireland                                                                countryside that could serve as a basis for conflict prevention and that
                                                                                                integrate a variety of needs and responsibilities. This process has led to a
                                                                                                document that outlines an agreed position on access in the countryside
                                                                                                between all stakeholders involved.
                                                                                              o The members considered the key features necessary for countryside code
                                                                                                development, with a focus on the potential application of the internationally
                                                                                                recognised Leave No Trace Initiative. Following an evaluation of the Leave
                                                                                                No Trace (LNT) principles, the members produced a set of agreed LNT
                                                                                                principles that had been amended to reflect Irish conditions and stakeholder
                                                                                                roles and responsibilities.
                                                                                              o Comhairle na Tuaithe is currently working in partnership with stakeholder
                                                                                                organisations to develop a National Countryside Recreation Strategy.
                                                                                              o An information leaflet on Comhairle na Tuaithe, containing Agreed Access
                                                                                                Parameters, was launched at the National Ploughing Championships in
                                                                                                September 2005.
                                                                                                In May 2004, the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs
                                                                                           launched the Rural Social (Employment) Scheme (RSS) under which national
                                                                                           waymarked ways and other walks developed through community co-operation are
                                                                                           eligible for support. The first of the RSSs began in July 2004, on a phased basis
                                                                                           and the works being carried out include replacing markers, erecting styles,
                                                                                           clearing undergrowth and putting down boardwalks in some bogland paths. It is
                                                                                           now being implemented throughout the country; provision has been made for
                                                                                           2,500 participants.
                                                                                                The Supreme Court judgement (21 January 2005) in the case of Weir Rodgers
                                                                                           –v– The S.F. Trust opened the way to clarifying some of the complex issues
                                                                                           involved in relation to access to the countryside for leisure and recreational
                                                                                           pursuits. The case centred on an appeal of a High Court decision that found a
                                                                                           landowner was liable for damages sustained by a recreational user. The Supreme
                                                                                           Court found that there was no liability on the part of the landowner and set aside
                                                                                           the High Court judgement.




                                                                                                                                                                           25
        Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                                  (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

p. 26    UNESCO World Heritage Site Designation: (5.8) Put in                Slow Progress       The DEHLG had identified Clonmacnoise as a possible third site for
         place the consultation, management and conservation                                 submission to UNESCO for designation as a World Heritage Site. A draft
         arrangements necessary to achieve the designation of                                Management Plan was drawn up and a public consultation process completed.
         additional sites in Ireland as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.                         However, following discussions with a UN Mission to Ireland, about its views on
                                                                                             ecclesiastical sites, the Department decided to reconsider its approach to site
                        Department of the Environment, Heritage                              nomination in the context of the desire of UNESCO to focus on broadening the
          Lead Role                                                                          global coverage of World Heritage Sites beyond the range of existing countries
                        and Local Government
                                                                                             with significant numbers of sites.
p. 27    Litter: (5.9).                                                          Good            The Government’s Litter Action Plan outlines a range of actions, to tackle litter
         • local authorities should further strengthen their actions           Progress/     pollution through a partnership approach with local authorities in which all sectors
              in co-operation with local business and commercial               Ongoing       – business, community groups, residents associations, schools and individuals –
              sectors to tackle litter pollution – with a particular focus                   play their part.
              on fast tracking projects in established tourist areas                              Local businesses and communities engage in clean-up and awareness actions
         • the Regional Tourism Authorities should ensure that                               to improve the local environment through the national anti-litter campaigns funded
              litter abatement is kept at the top of tourism                                 by the Department – e.g. the National Spring Clean campaign (run by An Taisce)
              development priorities throughout their regions                                the Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) Litter League (inaugurated in 2002) and
                                                                                             the annual allocation of litter awareness grants to county and city councils. These
                        Department of the Environment, Heritage                              initiatives, together with the National Litter Pollution Monitoring System, serve to
                        and Local Government/Local                                           complement the primary responsibility of Local Authorities in tackling litter
          Lead Role     Authorities/Regional Tourism                                         pollution.
                        Authorities/Tourism Industry Representative
                                                                                                The Irish Hotels Federation is represented on IBAL and the Town and Country
                        Bodies
                                                                                             Homes Association has written to its representatives on regional boards urging
                                                                                             them to keep litter at the top of the agenda, to support surveys and the
                                                                                             implementation of litter plans.
p. 27    Working Closely with the Planning Authorities: (5.10)                   Good           Fáilte Ireland has decided to work proactively in the area of planning issues
         the Tourism State Agencies should work more closely and               Progress/     and to invest in the necessary resources to do so. This recommendation has also
         with county, city and urban planning authorities in the               Ongoing       been pursued with Regional Tourism Authorities. A new Environmental Unit is in
         preparation and implementation of their development and                             operation in Fáilte Ireland since mid 2005.
         litter abatement plans and in the operation of planning
         control                                                                                  The IHF have been active in a number of environmental issues; it continues to
                                                                                             sit on and take part in all IBAL meetings and support their actions. The “Cleaner
                                                                                             Greener” programme to develop an industry code of practice is underway and the
          Lead Role     Fáilte Ireland/Regional Tourism Authorities                          IHF is assisting the Irish Hospitality Institute (IHI) in this. Workshops to build
                                                                                             awareness are taking place currently around the country. Guidelines for
                                                                                             managing energy with Sustainable Energy Ireland have been circulated to
                                                                                             members and the Energia Initiative (mentioned previously in section 2.1) has been
                                                                                             notified to members.
                                                                                                 The RAI, through its Branch Network, has regular meetings with the
                                                                                             environmental department of the local authorities. In particular, waste disposal
                                                                                             causes particular problems for restaurant owners. Many RAI Members are
                                                                                             committed to playing their part to improve the environment in the area of waste
                                                                                             material and some are making major investments to do so.


                                                                                                                                                                                 26
        Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                                  (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

p. 27    The Tourism Industry and the Environment: (5.11) A                  Good          The IHF has produced a Waste Management strategy for hotels and an
         top-class environment awareness and promotion                     Progress/   environment guide for hotels and guesthouses. It has entered an arrangement
         programme should be put in place by the Tourism Industry          Ongoing     with Repak to facilitate compliance with Waste Management requirements.
         Representative Bodies.                                                        Membership arrangements with Repak have been availed of by over 125 IHF
          Lead Role Tourism Industry Representative Bodies                             members. Repak introduced a Best Practice Award for the hospitality sector in
                                                                                       2004 – five IHF members were finalists – Westin Hotel, Dublin, Jurys Inns – Cork
                                                                                       and Christchurch, Jurys Cork Hotel and The Burlington Hotel, Dublin. The award
                                                                                       was won by the Burlington for their in-house management team’s efforts on waste
                                                                                       management and packaging segregation on incoming goods.
                                                                                           On energy cost savings, IHF have agreed a special electrical cost saving offer
                                                                                       for members with Energia that will give savings of between 5% and 12% on
                                                                                       electricity bills. In addition MJ Flood Energy Services have been working on the
                                                                                       introduction of energy saving lamps to replace the old inefficient lighting in hotels.
                                                                                       Many IHF members have availed of this service. The largest of these is The
                                                                                       Burlington where over 7,000 bulbs of various types have been replaced – this will
                                                                                       assist this premises in qualifying for the EU Greenlight Programme.
                                                                                           IHF has been working also with Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) on initiatives
                                                                                       to help members introduce best practice on energy management in their
                                                                                       properties. A booklet on energy management for the hospitality sector was
                                                                                       launched at IHF Annual Conference (March 2005) and other initiatives to assist
                                                                                       members have been included in the Cleaner Production Programme, in
                                                                                       conjunction with Irish Hotel & Catering Institute and the Environment Protection
                                                                                       Agency. This provides members with best practice advice for the conservation of
                                                                                       water – with consequent cost reductions.
                                                                                             At branch level, the RAI is engaging with local authorities on recycling waste –
                                                                                        all branches have had presentations on this – and on the licensing of
                                                                                        establishments for handling wastewater.
p. 28    Hotel and Guesthouse Classification: (5.12) Fáilte                  Good            As indicated earlier (at 2.8), new classification proposals for hotels have been
         Ireland should, in close consultation with the industry, put in   Progress/   drafted by Fáilte Ireland and are being progressively agreed with the Irish Hotels
         place a mandatory classification system for hotels and            Ongoing     Federation - new criteria have been agreed and tested for 3 star properties while
         guesthouses                                                                   arrangements for the 4 star category are almost completed and work is underway
          Lead Role Fáilte Ireland                                                     in relation to the 5 star category.
                                                                                           A parallel system will operate in 2006 with full implementation of the new
                                                                                       system in 2007




                                                                                                                                                                            27
        Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                                  (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

p. 28    A Unified Representation Structure for the B&B Sector:           Good          Fáilte Ireland has had consultations with the relevant representative B&B
         (5.13) there is a strong case for the different groups         Progress/   Bodies on this recommendation but there is not consensus on a single
         representing the sector to come together into a more unified   Ongoing     representative structure at this stage. A strategic review of the B&B sector was
         and single structure to more effectively represent their                   undertaken in 2005, by consultants on behalf of Fáilte Ireland, and decisions will
         industry and work closely with Fáilte Ireland and Tourism                  be taken, early in 2006, on the recommendations – one of which includes a
         Ireland for that purpose.                                                  possible classification system for approved premises.
          Lead Role The B&B Representative Bodies
                                                                                         In May 2004, a number of representative groups (both accommodation and
                                                                                    other service providers) came together to form a National Rural Tourism
                                                                                    Federation (facilitated by officials from Teagasc and LEADER) with a view to
                                                                                    establishing a unified structure to more effectively represent the needs of the
                                                                                    smaller tourism enterprises in rural areas. Their first project has been to design
                                                                                    and build a website to link the various organisations. Discussions with Fáilte
                                                                                    Ireland, on the recognition of the Federation as a niche product group, were
                                                                                    initiated in 2005.
p. 28    Cultural and Artistic Infrastructure of Dublin: (5.14)         Completed       The development of the Abbey Theatre is currently the priority cultural
         early decisions should be taken to secure                                  infrastructure project of the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism. A suitable site
         • the redevelopment of the Abbey Theatre                                   has been made available for the redevelopment of the Abbey Theatre by the
         • the relocation of the National Concert Hall.                             Dublin Docklands Development Authority. The OPW has completed the
                                                                                    necessary investigations at the site, located at George's Dock in the Docklands
                                                                                    area, and has advised that it would be a suitable location for the National Theatre.
                                                                                    The Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism has commissioned an evaluation of the
          Lead Role    Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism                        possible Public Private Partnership (PPP) models that might facilitate effective
                                                                                    progress and a viable outcome for the redevelopment of the Abbey. Further
                                                                                    detailed analysis will inform the final decision on the structures that will apply.
                                                                                        The proposal in relation to the National Concert Hall (NCH) is to redevelop the
                                                                                    Earlsfort Terrace site to meet long term needs–to secure a new 2,500 seater
                                                                                    auditorium (double present capacity) and convert the current hall into an 800-
                                                                                    seater venue, at a cost of some €130/140 million. The intention is that the
                                                                                    redevelopment of the National Concert Hall will be progressed as a PPP project.
                                                                                    The provision of a signature building, which compares favourably with well-known
                                                                                    concert halls in capital cities across Europe, will enable the National Concert Hall
                                                                                    to meet current and expanding market demand for musical entertainment and
                                                                                    cultural events.
p. 28    Product Development Scheme: (5.15) Fáilte Ireland              Completed       The Tourism Product Management Boards have approved €40 million in grant
         should allocate additional resources to make early decisions               aid for some 53 projects nationwide with a proposed total eligible investment of
         on the applications that were received in 2002.                            €81 million including the development of flagship attractions at the Cliffs of Moher
                                                                                    and in Lough Key Forest Park
          Lead Role    Fáilte Ireland                                                  Additional resources were secured, mid 2004, to enable Fáilte Ireland to
                                                                                    oversee the critical monitoring phase.




                                                                                                                                                                         28
        Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                                  (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

Strategic Success Driver 6             Marketing and Promotion

Page                          Recommendation                               Status                             Action Taken by December 2005
p. 29    Market Focus: (6.1) Continue to concentrate overseas               Good          In 2004, Tourism Ireland, with an industry steering group, completed a review
         marketing expenditure on the British and US markets which        Progress/   of the British market and market strategies have been developed to deliver market
         account for over 70% of visitor numbers.                          Outputs    share growth. Tourism Ireland is implementing this review and is carrying out co-
                                                                                      operative advertising and promotion with market and Ireland-based industry
                                                                                      partners including partnering with sea and air carriers. In addition it worked in
                                                                                      partnership with the industry to encourage tourists to bring their own cars. In late
          Lead Role     Tourism Ireland/Fáilte Ireland                                2005, Tourism Ireland initiated a review of the North American and New and
                                                                                      Developing markets – in order to ensure that future marketing efforts are
                                                                                      appropriate.
                                                                                          Tourism Ireland works closely with Fáilte Ireland in the overseas promotion of
                                                                                      major sporting, artistic and cultural events and it deploys the marketing plans of
                                                                                      niche product marketing groups overseas on behalf of Fáilte Ireland.
                                                                                         Fáilte Ireland has reviewed its approach to the Meetings Incentives
                                                                                      Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) sector and has established a new Business
                                                                                      Tourism Forum, a partnership board with the industry, as a successor to the
                                                                                      Convention Bureau of Ireland.
                                                                                          The niche product marketing groups have their own marketing initiatives e.g.
                                                                                      MEI-RELSA – the English language schools marketing group – members are
                                                                                      targeting accession countries and they are making inroads in Asia.
p. 29    Mainland Europe: (6.2) Undertake a fundamental review            Completed   Tourism Ireland completed the Mainland European Review in 2004 which
         of marketing and promotion operations in key Mainland                        consisted of an analysis of market trends, Ireland’s market share and the
         Europe markets.                                                              opportunities and threats facing Ireland.
                       Tourism Ireland in consultation with the
                                                                                      Some of the main recommendations from the Mainland European Review which
          Lead Role Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism and
                                                                                      are being implemented include:
                       Tourism Industry Representative Bodies
                                                                                        o More tactically focused campaigns in France & Germany
                                                                                        o Greater priority on targeting the Grey Market, Business Tourism & E-marketing
                                                                                        o Each Europe market ‘sponsored a region’ for special marketing attention in
                                                                                          2005
                                                                                        o Continuing to identify and exploit access opportunities
                                                                                        o Continuing close co-operation and new working methods with key industry
                                                                                          partners
                                                                                      Reorganisation of staff and market offices
p. 29    Partnerships with Airline Industry: (6.3)                          Good
                                                                                      Increased capacity on Irish air routes and the opening up of many new routes
         Work closely with air carriers, including lowfare airlines and   Progress/
                                                                                      present real opportunities for growing Irish tourism. Tourism Ireland assesses new
         airport authorities, to identify new direct routes with high      Outputs
                                                                                      capacity and routes to see if they have sustainable potential for additional inbound
         visitor market prospects which are sustainable from/to
                                                                                      business. Where such potential exists, Tourism Ireland has organised itself to
         Britain, Mainland Europe and the US and the marketing and
                                                                                      respond rapidly, in partnership with the industry, to the relevant marketing
         cost/price requirements necessary to effectively exploit this
                                                                                      opportunities.
         potential. (Strategic Success Driver 3 also refers)

                                                                                                                                                                           29
        Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                                  (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

         Encourage airlines providing direct routes from/ to Europe
         from Australia, New Zealand and the Far East to have
         attractive through route fare arrangements to Ireland.
                         Tourism Ireland in conjunction with airlines
          Lead Role
                         and airport authorities
p. 30    All-island Marketing Initiatives: (6.4) Promote more             Good          Individual market specific promotional programmes were outlined in December
         strongly the development and marketing of clusters of          Progress/   2004 and published in Tourism Ireland's Challenge: Focus: Action document.
         complementary products on the island of Ireland.               Ongoing     These programmes are well underway. In summary, plans were developed for
                                                                                    each of the main products on an all-island basis and a range of brochures for
                                                                                    these products were produced. Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland, in consultation
                                                                                    with the Industry, will continue to identify further all-island clustering opportunities
                        Tourism Ireland/Tourism Industry                            e.g. regions in the west of Ireland (South West, Shannon, West and North West)
          Lead Role
                        Representative Bodies North and South                       clustered together to promote the regions together to the consumer in 2005. This
                                                                                    incentive was extended in 2006 to other Super Regions, with an associated
                                                                                    incremental budget of €3 million.
                                                                                        Many ITOA members currently offer all Ireland programmes and the
                                                                                    organisation is supportive of efforts to make these products more readily
                                                                                    accessible to the overseas visitor. T&CHA has gained more than 50 members
                                                                                    based in Northern Ireland and is to engage with NITB on how best to continue
                                                                                    promotion. T&CHA is looking to find ways to overcome restrictions/barriers (such
                                                                                    as distribution policy) to joint promotion initiatives. For over twenty years the IHF,
                                                                                    through the Be Our Guest Guide and more recently through its website
                                                                                    www.irelandhotels.com, has offered the consumer all island information and has
                                                                                    highlighted this fact in overseas marketing and promotion.
                                                                                        In 2005, the RAI instructed the publishers of its Bushmills Malt Restaurant and
                                                                                    Event Guide to invite Northern Ireland restaurants to participate. The take-up was
                                                                                    disappointing and a fresh and innovative approach is being introduced to attract
                                                                                    Northern Ireland entries to the 2006/7publication.
                                                                                        Four Southern-based car rental companies have facilities in Northern Ireland
                                                                                    and actively promote all-Ireland services. Most other companies facilitate cross
                                                                                    border journeys but vehicle registration, taxation restrictions, international
                                                                                    franchise conditions and currency considerations impede development of all-
                                                                                    island marketing initiatives. The reopening of the Ballinamore and Ballyconnell
                                                                                    canal allowed IBRA to participate fully in an integrated marketing of hire cruising
                                                                                    North and South of the border.
                                                                                        The Heritage Island new integrated culture marketing initiative features 20
                                                                                    Northern Ireland venues through www.cultureheritageireland.com and visitor
                                                                                    attractions only through www.heritageisland.com. A comprehensive trade and
                                                                                    consumer marketing programme is carried out throughout the year.
p. 30    Customer Relations Management: (6.5) Put in place a              Good         Details of progress were set out earlier at 2.5.
         programme to upgrade the capability of tourism enterprises     Progress/
         in customer relations management. (Strategic Success           Ongoing


                                                                                                                                                                          30
        Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                                  (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

         Driver 4 also refers)
          Lead Role Fáilte Ireland
p. 30    E-Marketing: (6.6) Enhance e-marketing capability to              Good          In 2005, Tourism Ireland created a new home page and splash page
         ensure that potential and repeat international and domestic     Progress/   redesigns, plus new features and functionality, have improved website quality and
         customers receive world class information services and can       Outputs    these measures proved popular with consumers. The number of referrals from
         be easily directed to online purchasing services for the full               www.discoverireland.com to industry partner websites exceeded 1,500,000 at end
         range of Irish tourism products/packages/flights and ferries.               December 2005. The Industry E-Marketing group as outlined in section 4.1 will
                                                                                     play a key role in assisting Tourism Ireland in shaping its criteria for selecting
                                                                                     online purchasing suppliers for the next generation website. As a pilot scheme
                                                                                     offers from Town and Country Homes and the Irish Hotels Federation were
          Lead Role    Tourism Ireland/Fáilte Ireland                                integrated into www.discoverireland.com. Tourism Ireland will continue to source
                                                                                     offers directly from self-catering, hostels, golf and equestrian partners as part of its
                                                                                     new website developments.
                                                                                         Fáilte Ireland appointed a company to work with it on improving its e-marketing
                                                                                     capabilities and in developing a new strategy. The new version of www.ireland.ie
                                                                                     gives consumers all the information they need for holidaying in Ireland.
                                                                                     Substantial Fáilte Ireland advertising in the domestic market on television, radio,
                                                                                     brand and tactical press, has run from February 2005 to the present, and has
                                                                                     directed consumers to the www.ireland.ie website. The industry were assisted
                                                                                     and encouraged to populate the “Value Breaks section of the site with holiday
                                                                                     offers, through an extensive programme of workshops held in April, May and June
                                                                                     2005, throughout all regions.
                                                                                         The main e-marketing initiative the IHF is involved in is the website www.
                                                                                     irelandhotels.com - developments have been discussed in earlier sections
                                                                                         The car rental industry processes a significant portion of its business via
                                                                                     website transactions. Ongoing website developments are a key feature of
                                                                                     companies' marketing activities and many local companies are linked to
                                                                                     international franchise websites. They are uniquely positioned to exploit
                                                                                     continuing improvements in on-line reservation system. Most companies operate
                                                                                     on-line reservation systems. The objective of the Council’s participation in Tourism
                                                                                     Ireland's e-Marketing Strategy Partnership is to ensure the car rental industry is
                                                                                     advised of next generation website developments and is equipped to participate in
                                                                                     such developments.
                                                                                       IBRA revamped its website and reregistered as www.boatingholidaysireland.
                                                                                     Com/Org/Net. The intention is to market this site intensively and provide
                                                                                     members with the opportunity to make tactical promotional offers.
                                                                                        In early January 2006, Tourism Ireland will be launching its next generation
                                                                                     website.




                                                                                                                                                                           31
        Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                                  (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

p. 30    Gulliver: (6.7) Gulliver should meet with representatives       Completed         In late 2003, Gulliver organised seminars in Dingle, Killarney, Cork City and
         of the industry.                                                               Clonakilty, to address concerns expressed by tourism operators. Staff from
                                                                                        Gulliver and the Cork/Kerry Regional Tourism Authority were present to answer
          Lead Role    Gulliver/B&B Representative Bodies                               specific queries relating to individual providers. The Dingle seminar did not
                                                                                        proceed due to lack of numbers. The other three were well attended and
                                                                                        generated useful and constructive discussions.
p. 30    Market Expenditure Analysis: (6.8) ... the Department          Slow Progress       This recommendation has been pursued with the agencies in the context of
         should undertake and publish, in conjunction with Fáilte                       the significant programme of reviews undertaken by them and the comprehensive
         Ireland and Tourism Ireland, reviews of the marketing                          nature of the operational details now supplied regularly to the Department. One of
         expenditure allocated and results achieved relative to                         the performance output indicators included in the Statement of Strategy of the
         objectives in the previous year.                                               Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism, 2005-2007 is that the tourism "agencies'
          Lead Role Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism                               expenditure on operating programmes [will be] monitored and reviewed against
                                                                                        policy objectives".
p. 31    Agility/Flexibility: (6.9) Maintain and enhance the capacity       Good            Tourism Ireland continues to build into its operating procedures a capacity to
         demonstrated in recent years to respond to unforeseen            Progress/     respond quickly and flexibly to emerging market circumstances in consultation
         market changes at home and overseas by the timely                 Outputs      with industry partners, tourist agencies and sponsoring Departments. For
         reprioritisation of marketing activities and associated                        example, in order to maximise organisational flexibility in 2005, Tourism Ireland
         expenditure allocations                                                        planned only its first half of the year above-the-line marketing activity at the end of
                                                                                        2004. Approximately a quarter of the total marketing funds were held in a
                                                                                        contingency reserve to respond to any unforeseen market changes and were only
                                                                                        allocated for second-half of the year above-the-line activity when no negative
                       Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism/                           circumstances prevailed.
          Lead Role
                       Tourism Ireland
                                                                                           The Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism is satisfied that Tourism Ireland
                                                                                        can respond quickly and flexibly to emerging market circumstances and that it
                                                                                        continues to build its capacity in this regard. Examples of such a coordinated
                                                                                        approach, including Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism involvement, were the
                                                                                        response to the SARS crisis and the London bombings.
p. 31    Market Share Analysis: (6.10) The Tourism State                    Good            Tourism Ireland continues to collect information on market share analysis of
         Agencies should monitor market share performance at              Progress/     the leading markets in order to ensure that its strategy is appropriate going
         operational level in all markets                                  Outputs      forward.
                        Tourism State Agencies/Department of Arts,
          Lead Role
                        Sport and Tourism/Tourism Ireland




                                                                                                                                                                              32
        Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                                  (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

Strategic Success Driver 7          The People in Tourism

Page                         Recommendation                     Status                             Action Taken by December 2005
p. 32    Human Resource Development Strategy: (7.1) a new      Completed        Fáilte Ireland prioritised the implementation of this recommendation in relation
         Human Resource Strategy should be put in place                    to Human Resource Development. Initially an Internal Working Team was set up
                                                                           to advance the action and a number of meetings with focus groups were held and
                                                                           a survey was undertaken across the sector. An inclusive approach was adopted
                                                                           and an Independent Steering Group, under the chairmanship of Dr. Frank Roche
                      Fáilte Ireland (with Tourism Industry                of the Smurfit Graduate School of Business, was set up in June 2004, with
          Lead Role   Representative Bodies and training and               representation from the industry. The Group's work was completed in early 2005
                      education providers)                                 and the new strategy, “Competing Through People”, was launched by Minister
                                                                           O’Donoghue in May 2005
                                                                                The IHF participated in the development of Competing through People and will
                                                                           continue to work with Fáilte Ireland in implementing the recommendations. It is
                                                                           also represented on Fáilte Ireland's Tourism Careers Promotion Group, which
                                                                           looks at ways of encouraging people to consider the hospitality sector as a long-
                                                                           term career option. The IHF is publishing, in conjunction with Fáilte Ireland, a
                                                                           redesigned version of the “Get a Life…in Tourism” careers magazine. This was
                                                                           circulated to all post primary schools in September 2005 and is used throughout
                                                                           the year at all career fairs. The IHF is actively involved in a new initiative called
                                                                           “Business in the Community” which links students from disadvantaged
                                                                           backgrounds with hotels throughout the country to provide an insight into working
                                                                           in the industry and the various career options. The IHF’s on-line Masters in
                                                                           Hospitality programme in conjunction with Hibernia College is continuing to attract
                                                                           participants. The first group of fifteen graduated in September 2005.
                                                                                For those already working in the industry, the IHF have circulated details of a
                                                                           new Fáilte Ireland initiative entitled “Approved Prior Learning” (APL) which
                                                                           recognises that many people are working for long periods of time but may never
                                                                           have received a formal qualification. APL will look at the experience gained and
                                                                           will award them a qualification based on it.
                                                                               In negotiations with the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment, the
                                                                           IHF has sought recognition that chefs should be regarded as a particular skills-set
                                                                           and has called for tourism to be represented on the Forfas Expert Skills Group.
                                                                                Various sectors of the industry have participated in the Lyons Tea and Fáilte
                                                                           Ireland award schemes to promote the Irish welcome.
                                                                              As part of the RAI's application for Skillnets funding, a comprehensive training
                                                                           needs analysis procedure was carried out during the summer of 2005. Human
                                                                           Resource Development was identified as a priority by interested restaurant
                                                                           owners, so this will be incorporated into the new four-year training programme.




                                                                                                                                                                  33
        Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                                  (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

p. 33    National Recruitment Plan: (7.2) Establish a Tourism       Completed       In April 2004, Fáilte Ireland set up the Tourism Careers Promotion Group,
         Career Promotions Group.                                               chaired by Brian Mooney, President of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors.
         Lead Role Fáilte Ireland                                               Work on the Plan was completed in summer 2005, and the document was
                                                                                launched at the “Tourism Recruitment Fair” in 2005.
p. 33    Managing Cultural Diversity: (7.3) Develop and               Good           A Cultural Diversity Group, representative of the Irish Hotel and Catering
         implement a strategy and detailed implementation           Progress/   Institute, the Irish Hotels Federation, the Restaurants Association of Ireland and
         programme to provide for the integration of non-national   Ongoing     Fáilte Ireland was established and its Cultural Diversity Report was launched in
         employees within the work-place                                        May 2005. Fáilte Ireland has since held discussions with Dublin City University in
                       Fáilte Ireland/Tourism Industry                          relation to the tourism sector representing a key sector strand in the university’s
          Lead Role
                       Representative Bodies                                    own programme of research into supporting diversity in the workplace.
                                                                                    The Irish Hotels Federation, In conjunction with IBEC, is now using the Interact
                                                                                programme for members to identify their current practices on this issue and
                                                                                identify areas for improvement. This is being done through a web based
                                                                                programme accessible on the website – www.ihf.ie. This is a self-assessment
                                                                                programme. The IHF has circulated brochures and posters to improve awareness
                                                                                and provide guidance to employees and a series of nationwide workshops are now
                                                                                being planned. Welcome Workshops for international employees have been
                                                                                developed which will assist them in their understanding of Irish cultures and
                                                                                norms.
                                                                                   The RAI's magazine Food For Thought carries regular articles on this subject
                                                                                and the material produced by the cultural diversity group, i.e. posters and leaflets,
                                                                                have been distributed to the entire membership.




                                                                                                                                                                    34
        Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                                  (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

Strategic Success Driver 8            The Government Sector

Page                         Recommendation                               Status                            Action Taken by December 2005
p. 34    Redefine the scope of Tourism Policy (8.1) .. the scope           Good                      Details of progress were set out earlier at 1.1.
         of tourism policy should be redefined beyond its traditional    Progress/
         domain within the "Department of Tourism" to encompass all       Outputs
         areas of Government activity that impact in a significant way
         on tourism. (Strategic Success Driver 1 also refers)
          Lead Role Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism
p. 34    Strengthen the capacity and role of the Tourism                   Good                      Details of progress were set out earlier at 1.1.
         Division of the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism:          Progress/
         (8.2) The Division of the Department of Arts, Sport and          Outputs
         Tourism dealing with tourism matters requires to be
         strengthened.
          Lead Role Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism
p. 35    Tourism and the National Competitiveness Council:               Completed      The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment agreed to the
         (8.3) , the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism should be                 Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism participating at meetings of the National
         included among the Government Departments in attendance                     Competitiveness Council.
         and participating at meetings of the National
         Competitiveness Council.
                         Department of the Taoiseach/Department of
          Lead Role
                         Arts, Sport and Tourism
p. 35    Inter-Departmental Bilateral Consultation                         Good                      Details of progress were set out earlier at 1.1.
         Arrangements: (8.4) Establish standing consultation             Progress/
         arrangements between the Department of Arts, Sport and           Outputs
         Tourism and the Government Departments/Agencies whose
         activities most impact on tourism including the Department
         of Finance, Department of Transport and Department of
         Environment, Heritage and Local Government.
          Lead Role Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism
p. 35    Fáilte Ireland: (8.5) the organisational structure for the      Completed        The Executive Team at Fáilte Ireland was brought together in 2003 and has
         new body should be quickly finalised                                        delivered both short-term annual business plans and a Corporate Strategy. The
          Lead Role Fáilte Ireland                                                   initial structure was reviewed in the context of the new Strategy.
p. 35    Regional Tourism Authorities: (8.6) Establish a closer            Good         The position with regard to the Regional Tourism Authorities is addressed
         correlation between the identified core visitor servicing and   Progress/   under 8.7 below.
         development functions provided by the Regional Tourism          Ongoing
         Authorities and the State financial support provided to them
         through Fáilte Ireland. Agree the new regional structures for
         the discharge of Fáilte Ireland's functions and determine the
         appropriate relationships and arrangements at regional
         level.
          Lead Role Fáilte Ireland



                                                                                                                                                                       35
        Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                                  (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

p. 36    Regional/Sub-National Structure: (8.7) that an early            Good          Price Waterhouse Coopers consultants were engaged to review regional
         review of the functions, activities and interactions of the   Progress/   structures and to recommend the most effective system for the future delivery of
         many bodies involved in tourism promotion and                 Ongoing     national tourism policy in the regions. Following adoption of the consultants’
         development be undertaken as a matter of urgency.                         recommendations by the Fáilte Ireland Authority and the Minister's decision of 25
                                                                                   July 2005 that Fáilte Ireland should proceed with the revision of the regional
                        Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism/                     tourism structures on the basis of the consultants and facilitators' (in the case of
          Lead Role
                        Fáilte Ireland                                             Dublin Tourism) recommendations, a template involving the establishment of new
                                                                                   Regional Tourism Partnerships, under the overall umbrella of Fáilte Ireland, is now
                                                                                   being implemented under the guidance of a special Implementation Group chaired
                                                                                   by Mr Finbarr Flood.
                                                                                      The role of Shannon Development, which is responsible for tourism
                                                                                   development in the Mid-West Region, was reviewed by the Department of
                                                                                   Enterprise, Trade and Employment in 2005 and subsequently the Minister for Arts,
                                                                                   Sport and Tourism confirmed the retention of their tourism brief.
                                                                                       As a separate but complementary initiative, ITIC published a report in 2005 on
                                                                                   a research project aimed at growing promotable business to Ireland and on
                                                                                   increasing business to the regions.




                                                                                                                                                                     36
        Progress on each of the Recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action
                                  (see the Executive Summary for the Objective, Rationale and Action description in full)

Strategic Success Driver 9             Information, Intelligence and Research

Page                          Recommendation                               Status                              Action Taken by December 2005
p. 37    Research, Advisory and Co-ordination Group: (9.1) Set              Good          The Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism convened the first meeting of the
         up a Research Advisory and Co-ordination Group, with             Progress/   Research Advisory and Co-ordination Group in December 2005. It is intended that
         representatives of the industry, Tourism State Agencies,         Ongoing     the Group will meet once or twice a year to co-ordinate research activity and
         relevant Government Departments and the research                             exchange information.
         community in third level education to identify information and
         research gaps.
          Lead Role Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism
p. 37    Research Register: (9.2) Compile, maintain and publish a           Good         The initial scope for the Research Register was confined to State Agencies.
         comprehensive database on information and research               Progress/   The register is being finalised and will be posted to the Fáilte Ireland website in
         relevant to Irish Tourism.                                       Ongoing     2006.
          Lead Role Fáilte Ireland
                                                                                          Phase 2 will be extended to the education/industry databank of research.
p. 37    Tourism Satellite Accounts: (9.3) a revised approach to            Good         Following an initiative by the British Irish Council, a proposal for a Britain and
         the quantification of the economic contribution of tourism in    Progress/   Ireland Tourism Satellite Account – First Steps Project was agreed. Working in
         national accounting terms through the use of the Tourism          Outputs    partnership, Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland commissioned the National Centre
         Satellite Accounts (TSAs) model should be put in place.                      for Tourism Policy Studies at the University of Limerick to compile TSA tables for
                                                                                      the Republic of Ireland, in as far as it is currently possible, and to identify any
                        Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland in                         outstanding information required to complete a fully comprehensive TSA.
          Lead Role     consultation with the Central Statistics                         The TSA project was presented to the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism,
                        Office                                                        the CSO and the Tourism State Agencies and was published in November 2005.
                                                                                      The partners are currently considering the next steps.
Implementation Arrangements
p. 38    Implementation Group: (10.1) a high-level                        Completed     The Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism established a high-level Group in
         Implementation Group should be established to drive                          January 2004. The fundamental task of the Group is to monitor the
         forward and monitor the recommended actions.                                 implementation of the recommendations of the Tourism Policy Review Group, to
          Lead Role Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism                             assess progress and to report to the Minister and the industry on that progress –
                                                                                      highlighting constraints and recommending changes in the light of the experience
                                                                                      as the Action Plan is rolled out. The Group held its first meeting on 5 February
                                                                                      2004 and, since then, it has convened in formal session at monthly intervals. It
                                                                                      has reported regularly to the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism.
p. 38    Tourism Forum: (10.2) An annual forum of the tourism             Completed   The first two annual fora took place in November 2004 and November 2005.
         industry should be established. The first forum should be
         established in October 2004.
          Lead Role Fáilte Ireland




                                                                                                                                                                            37

				
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