€68m for Midlands Tourism

Fáilte Ireland has been allocated €68m under the EU's "Just Transition" funding to boost the tourism industry across eight counties in the Midlands. 

The funding has been allocated to the National Tourism Development Authority to implement a "regenerative tourism and placemaking scheme" for the Midlands.

The focus of the scheme is to provide new employment opportunities for workers and communities that were heavily dependent on peat by diversifying the local economy, which will include new opportunities for tourism. It encompasses four strands, which include trail development, visitor amenities, alternative low carbon accommodation and smart specialisation, which involves digital transformation.

CEO of Fáilte Ireland Paul Kelly said the new investment reinforces the value of tourism to the economic well-being and development of a destination.

He said the confirmation of the EU allocation to Fáilte Ireland is a recognition of its expertise as the National Tourism Development Authority to deliver projects of scale that will create jobs, empower businesses and build stronger communities.

He said this will leave a lasting legacy of transformative change that will enhance the appeal of the Midlands as a tourist destination for generations to come.

"It is an unprecedented investment in tourism, and one that is going to have a tangible economic impact in the towns and communities of Ireland's Hidden Heartlands and Ireland's Ancient East," Mr Kelly said.

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin said the EU's "Just Transition" funding is a significant step for regenerative tourism development in Ireland.