Dáil Éireann - Volume 462 - 27 February, 1996
Written Answers. - Crimes against Tourists.
Mr. Callely Mr. Callely
219. Mr. Callely asked the Minister for Tourism and Trade the progress, if any, made to redress the damaging impact of crime on the tourist industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4257/96]
Minister for Tourism and Trade (Mr. E. Kenny) Enda Kenny
Minister for Tourism and Trade (Mr. E. Kenny): As I have indicated in response to similar Dáil questions in the past, the Minister for Justice has primary responsibility for tackling the problem of crime against tourists. My colleague has outlined in recent weeks measures to address the problem of crime generally. These measures will obviously impact on crime against tourists, which, it must be stressed, constitutes only a small proportion of overall crime.
I myself have, in the past, also referred to regular liaison which takes place between the Garda, Bord Fáilte and other tourism interests, the distribution of safety leaflets to tourists and the setting up in April 1994 of the Tourist Victim Support Service. The service, which has my full support, has proved very successful, not only in providing practical and emotional support to tourist victims of crime, which is of course its primary objective, but also in helping to maintain a reputation as a safer and  friendly tourism destination and, indeed, in helping to counter some of the negative media coverage of the problem. The service is also supported by the industry and the Dublin Chamber of Commerce this year substantially increased its level of financial support in recognition of the quality of this service and its value to the tourism industry.
I understand that a decision has been made to extend this service to other parts of the country already served by the victim support network with a view to serving the whole country within a few years.
Finally, it is important that the problem of crime against tourists be kept in proportion. The growth in crime is a worldwide phenomenon and Ireland is still, comparatively speaking, a very safe  tourist destination. This view was borne out by the results of a consumer Which survey carried out last year.
Dáil Éireann 462 Written Answers. Crimes against Tourists.