26 November 2015
By Bryan T. Smyth
Ireland South MEP and member of the EU Tourism Taskforce Deirdre Clune has congratulated both Clonakilty and Cobh on making the shortlist in the Failte Ireland National Tourism Town awards and said that Cork has a bright future ahead when it comes to tourism.
“Tourism is a tried and tested way to tackle youth unemployment – which currently stands at 19.7%. The Irish Hotels Federation have recently said there are up to 3,000 job vacancies in the hospitality industry in Ireland. We need to gear our training and skills programmes for young people in Cork towards speciality trades in tourism, such as chefs – of which we currently have a shortage.
“Figures from this month show that overseas visits to Ireland for the first nine months of 2015 have grown by 12.5% compared to the same period of 2014. It is now very clear that 2015 is going to be a record-breaker for the tourism sector and, on current trends, we may eventually welcome up to 7.7 million to our shores this year. Tourism has been a key driver of economic recovery in Ireland’s transition from bust to boom.
“I want to pay particular tribute to small businesses in Cork who have made a considerable effort to improve the appearances of our villages, towns and Cork city. We aim to have 10 million visits to Ireland annually by 2025 and that employment in the sector would rise to 250,000. That means jobs for young people in Cork – in a growing tourism market.