Irish tourism could grow 50% by 2025

Issues such as poor transport networks are holding the industry back, however...

The Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC) predicts that the tourism sector will grow by 50% by the year 2025, as it launches its long-term strategy.

The group has also called on the Government to invest in new transport links, as well as upgrades to certain tourist attractions.

ITIC chairman Paul Gallagher said of the issues facing the sector:

"We're looking for better-integrated ticketing systems for visitors using public transport and those systems to be available online so people could plan their journeys in advance and book those kinds of tickets. We're looking for better looped transition from one area of Ireland to another.

"Our rail network is devised going from Dublin to the region and returning to Dublin to go back to another part of the region. We'd look for better linkage and better loops along the public transport sector."

He also spoke about the huge potential that exists in terms of boosting Ireland's popularity and job creation throughout the country:

"We see Irish tourism growing by about 50% between now and 2025. In layman's terms, that's about another 50,000 new jobs in hospitality in Ireland. And that's €7bn then in receipts to the Exchequer.

"I suppose what's really unique about tourism is it spreads to every region in Ireland and every small town and village in Ireland have a role and part to play in developing and satisfying guests' needs when it comes to tourism, both domestic and overseas."

Sinn Féin, meanwhile, says the record-breaking year for Irish tourism should mean improved pay & conditions for those working in the industry.

The party's TD Maurice Quinlivan argued: "The reality of life for many people working in the sector is long hours, poor working conditions and low pay.

"So, whilst job creation and the record breaking year is very welcome, there is a serious question about the quality of these jobs and this need to be addressed."