Summer Season message from Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland

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    “As we kick off the high season in earnest following the June Bank Holiday weekend, we look forward to a busy summer,” began Paul Kelly, CEO, Failte Ireland.

    “Fáilte Ireland will continue to inspire and motivate people to take a domestic break this summer with our ‘Keep Discovering’ marketing campaign. Festivals and events are an important part of the summer offering, and we are directly funding almost 20 festivals across the country this summer, including the Fleadh Cheoil 2024 in Wexford, Galway International Arts Festival, Dublin Horse Show and Gaelforce Lough Derg, as well as supporting many others through our Regional Festival Fund.

    We’re proud to support the recent rebranding of the Irish Tourist Assistance Service (ITAS) to Tourist SOS. Ireland is, by international standards, a very safe destination to visit and this unique service offers special assistance to international visitors across Ireland, in the rare event they are victims of a crime. Tourist SOS is a vital resource for tourism businesses and provides support to international visitors when issues arise to ensure they can get their trip back on track as soon as possible. Find out more.

    I acknowledge the year to date has been mixed for some areas of the sector, with businesses experiencing rising cost pressures and other external factors, including bad weather throughout spring, impacting the domestic market. Domestic and overseas outlook for the summer remains positive, and Fáilte Ireland will continue to provide always-on business supports that can be accessed through our Business Supports Huthroughout the season.

    I am pleased to share that Ireland has been selected by Destinations International to host the inaugural Global Tourism Leaders Forum in 2025. Fáilte Ireland will be working with Destinations International to ensure this forum fosters worldwide collaborative engagement to drive the sustainable development of tourism globally covering key topics like sustainability, host community engagement and increasing inclusivity of tourism for all. Hosting this forum in Dublin will allow us to promote Ireland to an important audience of global tourism stakeholders.

    For those of you located in the EU Just Transition Region of the Midlands, I would like to remind you that at the end of this month, we will be closing Expressions of Interest (EOI) for the Private and Community SME Investment Grant-Aid Scheme. If you haven’t already, I strongly encourage those with an idea to develop a regenerative tourism project to submit an EOI before the closing date of 30th June 2024. Co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union under the EU Just Transition Fund, this scheme will have a transformational impact on tourism in parts of Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands and Ireland’s Ancient East, and we look forward to announcing our first approved investment in projects over the coming weeks. Find out more.

    It’s great to see that our Local Champions programme, which kicked off in April, has been progressing really well, enhancing the visitor experience for tourists in-destination with expert local recommendations. Over 1,000 people have participated in the programme this year, and there are upcoming sessions in Galway City this month and in other locations across the country later this year – find out how to register here.