Dáil Éireann - Volume 433 - 30 June, 1993
Ceisteanna — Questions. Oral Answers. - Crimes Against Tourists.
Mr. M. McDowell Mr. M. McDowell
3. Mr. M. McDowell asked the Minister for Tourism and Trade the steps, if  any, he will initiate to warn and protect tourists from the recent wave of tourist-related crime.
Mr. Gilmore Mr. Gilmore
13. Mr. Gilmore asked the Minister for Tourism and Trade if he has satisfied himself that adequate procedures are in place to alert foreign tourists to dangers of crime in this country; if, in view of the number of recent highly publicised attacks on tourists and the potential damage these could cause for the industry, he will have any discussions with the relevant agencies; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Mrs. T. Ahearn Mrs. T. Ahearn
20. Mrs. T. Ahearn asked the Minister for Tourism and Trade the measures, if any, which have been put in place by his Department to warn tourists of possible dangers/attacks which they may have to face when they visit this country; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Mr. McCreevy Mr. McCreevy
Mr. McCreevy: I propose to take Questions Nos. 3, 13 and 20 together.
My colleague, the Minister for Justice, who has primary responsibility for addressing the problem of crime, including tourist related crime, recently outlined to the House various measures being taken by the Garda to combat crime against tourists.
The Minister referred to liaison arrangements between the Garda and the tourism agencies, which include a biannual security meeting involving representatives of the Garda and various sectors of the tourism industry, including hotels, car hire, tourist guides, coach hire and air and sea carriers. Measures already being taken include: “take care messages” in overseas promotional literature, and multilingual leaflets for circulation through local tourist offices, hotels, B & Bs, car rental companies etc; Garda patrols, and community relations officers, and “take care messages” in onboard and in-flight magazines produced by Irish Ferries, Aer Lingus etc.
In addition, tour guides and coach companies have adopted the practice of warning their clients of the risk of crime while language schools now provide  induction talks for visiting students incorporating similar warnings. Other tourism operators, including car hire companies and accommodation providers, are encouraged by their respective trade organisations to give verbal “take care” messages to customers.
It is important also that we do not create a greater problem for ourselves by hyping the issue. The problem is not unique to Ireland; while the problem here is real, it is mild relative to that existing elsewhere. We must do what we can to eradicate it and to warn tourists to take care, but we must not frighten them away because the number of tourists affected in any way by crime in Ireland is infinitesimal relative to the number who enjoy themselves with a relaxed, carefree holiday here.
Dáil Éireann 433 Ceisteanna — Questions. Oral Answers. Crimes Against Tourists.