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In February, Martin Cullen TD, Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, met with the heads of fifteen State tourism agencies, State arts bodies, and the cultural institutions to begin the work of further developing the cultural tourism market. This is the first step in implementing the Minister’s undertaking, to put in place an initiative to further develop the potential of cultural tourism. The Minister’s aim is, “to present Ireland as a first-choice destination for culture seekers and the examination of opportunities for creating new jobs, building additional arts/culture events and carefully-themed product development for the international market.” He said that cultural tourism is growing in importance internationally, adding, “It has been achieving average annual growth rates of 15% - three times the overall growth rate for tourism. It represents a third of all tourism business and is high yield. It is essential that Ireland places itself as a premier destination for the many tourists for whom experiencing culture is an important component of their holiday.”

Research carried out by Fáilte Ireland indicates that the largest segment of potential visitors to Ireland is in the category known as sightseers and culture seekers. This sector makes up over half (50 to 60%) of Ireland’s overseas holidaymakers each year.

Permalink - Posted: February 24, 2009 at 5:34 pm