Minister Donohoe to chair Tourism Leadership Group aimed at increasing visitor numbers & growing jobs

9th July, 2015

Tourism Action Plan will implement objectives set out in tourism policy doc


The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, today (Thursday) announced the establishment of a Tourism Leadership Group, which will implement the objectives set out in the tourism policy document ‘People, Place & Policy; Growing Tourism to 2025’. The document was launched by Minister Donohoe and An Taoiseach in March and the Group will be tasked with drawing up a Tourism Action Plan for the period up to 2018 (see end for list of Group members).


Minister Donohoe said: ‘The Government’s tourism policy document, People, Place and Policy; Growing Tourism to 2025, sets out our long-term goals and a policy framework to develop tourism in Ireland.  Now I want to see that long-term vision turned into specific actions, with responsibilities for implementing them clearly set out with deadlines.  That is why I am asking the Tourism Leadership Group to produce a Tourism Action Plan for the next three years’.


“The Tourism Action Plan will be the first in a series of three year plans which will specify measures to achieve our policy objectives. We have set ambitious targets to grow overseas visitor revenue to €5 billion per year by 2025 (net of inflation), to grow tourism employment from 200,000 to 250,000 and to increase overseas visits from 7.6 million in 2014 to ten million by 2025.  The policy statement sets out 51 policy objectives that are necessary to achieve these targets.”


The Group will be chaired by Minister Donohoe and includes representatives from the tourism industry, the Local Authority sector, and others with particular expertise in areas, such as community tourism development, travel technology, and tourism retailing, as well as the tourism agencies and the Minister’s Department.


People, Place and Policy – Growing Tourism to 2025 was launched by the Taoiseach and Minister Donohoe in Kilkenny Castle on 23rd March and represents a fundamental examination of the Irish tourism sector and the policies required to ensure that tourism continues to grow in a manner that is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.


Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring TD, said:  ‘The Tourism Policy Statement views Irish tourism from the perspective of ‘People and Place’, supported by an effective ‘Policy’ framework that will ensure continued growth.  It contains key policy objectives in areas that include overseas marketing, the development of skills in the tourism industry, the key role that Local Authorities and communities will play in the future development of tourism, and the continued central role for event-based tourism.  The job of the Tourism Leadership Group is to agree specific actions that link directly to each policy objective to enable us to meet our target and ultimately to grow jobs in the economy.”



Note for Editors:

The Tourism Leadership Group will be chaired by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD.

The members of the Tourism Leadership Group being announced today are:

  • Shaun Quinn, CEO of Fáilte Ireland
  • Niall Gibbons, CEOof Tourism Ireland
  • Peter Hynes, CEO Mayo County Council (representing the Local Authority sector)
  • Ruth Andrews, Chief Executive of the Irish Tour Operators Association (ITOA)
  • James McGinley, Director, McGinley Coaches, Co. Donegal
  • Stephen McNally, President of the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF)
  • John McQuillan, Co-founder of OpenJaw Technologies
  • Cormac  Ó Donnchú, Founder of Experience Gaelic Games
  • Emma O’Brien, Solicitor, Director of Clonakilty Chamber of Commerce, Member of the Cork Airport Development Council
  • Deirdre McGlone, Proprietor, Harvey’s Point Hotel, Lough Eske, Donegal
  • Ray Hernan, CEO of Arnotts
  • Ray O’Leary, Assistant Secretary, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport


The Tourism Leadership Group will hold an intensive series of meetings with key tourism stakeholders over the coming months.  A secretariat, which will be provided by the Department of Transport Tourism and Sport, will engage in additional meetings with a range of public and private bodies on matters of significance to tourism, and report back to the main Group.  It is expected that the Tourism Action Plan will be published within six months.