Donohoe to appoint new group to drive Dublin tourism

Concerns that capital is losing out to other cities

A new group is to be established by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe to increase tourism to Dublin amid concerns that the capital is underperforming compared with other European cities.

An Bord Bia chairman Michael Carey will head up the new body, called the Grow Dublin Tourism Alliance, which will come under the auspices of Fáilte Ireland. The Department of Transport and Tourism commissioned a strategy document last year, which found that Dublin is "underperforming against its potential and has the capacity to attract even more tourists than is currently the case".

It said Dublin was lagging behind what the department called “competitor cities” – Berlin, Copenhagen and Amsterdam – in terms of growth. “If a capital city does not fulfil its potential in terms of tourism,” Mr Donohoe said, “that has implications for the rest of the country, for the creation of jobs and for the amount of revenue the State takes in.”

He cited the Wild Atlantic Way as a “huge success for the west of Ireland” and said that a strategy was being developed for the southeast. “It is time to look at Dublin’s performance and put a cohesive strategy in place to ensure the maximum performance of our capital city,” the Minister said.

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The new group will be responsible for marketing Dublin. It will be funded from public and private sources. Previous studies by the department found that as many as 300 brands have been used by various groups to promote Dublin, which led to confusion among “potential tourists”.

“Cities, such as Copenhagen, have shown sustained levels of growth, even during the recessionary period,” Mr Donohoe said. “Initiatives such as ‘Wonderful Copenhagen’, which is a not-for profit, public-private partnership, has seen sectoral marketing drives like ‘Cruise Copenhagen’ and ‘Meet Copenhagen’ increase tourism rates in that city.

“There is no reason why Dublin cannot do the same.”