Dáil Éireann - Volume 445 - 11 October, 1994

Written Answers. - Tourism Promotion.

68. Mr. Deenihan asked the Minister for Tourism and Trade the measures, if any, he is taking to combine the promotion of Ireland by all State agencies into a single image of a country which is good to invest in, buy from and visit. [2/94]

83. Mr. Browne (Carlow-Kilkenny) asked the Minister for Tourism and Trade the functions, role and composition of the Foreign Earnings Committee which meets under his chairmanship. [1/94]

Minister for Tourism and Trade (Mr. McCreevy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 68 and 83 together.

The Foreign Earnings Committee is responsible for co-ordinating and enhancing the effectiveness of Ireland's promotional effort abroad, including co-ordination of publicity in the overseas markets.

The Government has asked the Foreign Earnings Committee to:

(i) examine the question of putting “enhanced effective co-ordination mechanisms in place to achieve the necessary single-minded pursuit of Ireland's economic and commercial interest abroad by all our agencies and programmes including the diplomatic service”.

(ii) to draw up a medium-term plan (four-five years) to improve the original effectiveness of representation overseas concerned with Ireland's economic and commercial interests (mainly in those markets where the bulk of promotional moneys is spent), encompassing a strategic approach, practical initiatives for implementation and, where appropriate, operational targets; and

(iii) to monitor and review the [1021] operation of the medium-term plan and to modify it, where necessary, in the light of changing circumstances.

The committee meets under my chairmanship and consists of the chief executives of overseas promotional agencies and senior officials from relevant Government Departments, including the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The committee is of the view that there is no “single image” of Ireland which would fully serve the specific marketing needs of all the agencies, but has directed that they always seek to maximise joint promotion efforts where suitable opportunities arise. Each of the agencies tries to create an appropriate awareness in target markets of the facets of Ireland which can best contribute to the promotion of its sector, taking care to ensure that the image they are portraying does not have a detrimental effect on the promotional efforts of the other agencies.