Senator Robbie Gallagher says that Monaghan deserves state investment in tourism infrastructure in order to build up the sector in the county. Senator Gallagher was speaking after tourism body, the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC) sought €600m State investment in new attractions across the country, arguing that the State’s current capital allocation for tourism is “wholly inadequate”.
“The tourism industry wants the State to spend €60 million each year for a decade on developing new visitor attractions and to commit to the capital expenditure boost in next month’s budget,” explained Senator Gallagher. “As a county needing to develop and grow its tourism potential, Monaghan needs to be getting a share of any such investment.”
ITIC wants an allocation of €60 million annually for tourism attractions – such as interpretive centres – over the 10-year period of the State’s Capital Plan, which runs from 2019 to 2028. They argue that the current allocation of only €106 million over a six-year period is wholly inadequate for tourism’s needs and that tourism is not getting its fair share of capital expenditure. This is just 0.4 per cent of the State’s capital budget after all. ITIC are also predicting that Brexit will cost the Irish tourism industry €100 million in 2017, due to declining numbers of British visitors and greater price competition from the UK’s industry,” he added.
“The confederation has also called for €20 million in the budget for State agencies, Tourism Ireland and Failte Ireland, to restore cuts made to their marketing budgets during the financial crisis. Tourism, employs almost 230,000 people and has the potential to grow employment further, it cannot be neglected by policymakers or Government. We can see what can be done when we look at Castle Leslie in Glaslough and we know the considerable potential of areas like Sliabh Beagh but investment is needed to develop such assets in a way that also protects them for the future.”