7 June 2019
By Elaine Murphy
The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross today launched Fáilte Ireland’s new Platforms for Growth initiative which will “transform the tourism landscape across the country” according to CEO Paul Kelly.
The programme of investment is Fáilte Ireland’s largest yet, and forms part of its Grants Scheme for Large Tourism Projects which runs up to 2022.
Major new visitor attractions of scale will be developed and existing attractions greatly enhanced through Platforms for Growth, with Fáilte Ireland making individual grants available for large-scale visitor attractions of €2.5million upwards.
Platforms for Growth is funded under the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 strategy with the aim of driving sustainable growth in the Irish tourism sector and higher revenue and job creation around Ireland.
It is unlike any previous investment announced by Fáilte Ireland, as it specifically targets ‘platforms’ or projects that have the greatest potential to grow tourism across Ireland, and fill gaps in the Irish tourism offering in order to meet changing visitor preferences.
Through this approach, Platforms for Growth will pave the way for large-scale and transformative attractions that will become key motivators to visit an area. In turn, this will step-change the economic value of tourism in the area through increased visitor numbers, revenue and job creation.
The first ‘Platform’ launched today will focus on developing Immersive Heritage and Cultural Attractions. Overseas visitors are increasingly seeking out more hands-on experiences which bring local culture and heritage to life, and this platform will invest in projects that deliver innovative and interactive experiences for the visitor to ‘immerse’ themselves in. Further platforms will be announced over the course of the programme.
Minister Shane Ross joined Fáilte Ireland CEO Paul Kelly at the site of the new Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI) in Dublin today to launch Platforms for Growth. MoLI, which is due to open later this year, is an example of a world-class attraction that has been developed with capital investment from Fáilte Ireland.
Announcing the new programme Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross T.D., said:
“Tourism has experienced significant growth in recent years and having world-class attractions has been fundamental in attracting visitors from around the globe to Ireland. Platforms for Growth will deliver on the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 objectives and it will do exactly as the name suggests – provide a platform that will contribute significantly to a growth in visitor numbers and the development of tourism nationwide. I look forward to visiting the world-class attractions that will be developed through this major investment programme. This will put Ireland on an even stronger footing in the international marketplace.”
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin T.D., said:
“Tourism is a vital source of employment in Ireland and a key economic driver. It is an industry that is unique in its ability to spur local job creation and sustain rural communities. Today’s announcement demonstrates the Government’s commitment to growing tourism and spreading the benefits regionally as well as ensuring that Ireland continues to have an incredibly strong and compelling offering for international visitors.”
Fáilte Ireland’s CEO Paul Kelly stated:
“Driving growth in the regions through tourism is a core focus of our work at Fáilte Ireland and having top-class visitor attractions and experiences is an integral part of this. At Fáilte Ireland, we are currently working on over 50 large capital projects throughout Ireland that will significantly enhance the Irish tourism offering as they open in the coming four years. Platforms for Growth builds on this work and takes a new approach to investment, as it will specifically seek out projects of scale that tap into exactly what overseas visitors are looking for. Creating a more regional spread of visitors is central to our capital investment strategy and through Platforms for Growth new attractions across the country will be developed and existing ones transformed.”
There will be clear criteria governing investment under Platforms for Growth which are based on strategic importance, potential for economic growth and job creation in communities across the country, as well as driving innovation and sustainability in the sector.
The ‘Immersive Heritage and Cultural Attractions’ Platform is now open for applications, with a submission deadline of 17th July for expressions of interest. A series of workshops will be held around the country and all details will be available on www.failteireland.ie/platformsforgrowth.Platforms for Growth is part of Fáilte Ireland’s wider capital investment programme, which has already allocated over €125million to tourism across the country since 2016.