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Armagh hosts high-profile meeting of Governments on Irish tourism plans

Irish Tourism Minister Paschal Donohoe TD was in Armagh today (Thursday) as Tourism Ireland’s Business Plan for 2015 was officially approved.

Mr Donohoe, whose office also covers Sport and Transport, attended a North-South Ministerial Council (NSMC) Tourism meeting at the Joint Secretariat Office in Armagh.

The meeting was chaired by Minister Donohoe and was also attended by Arlene Foster MLA, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment in Northern Ireland and Carál Ní Chuilín, MLA, Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure.

The Chair, Vice-chair and CEO of Tourism Ireland – the north-south body with responsibility for the overseas promotion of the island of Ireland as a tourist destination – were also in attendance.

The meeting formally approved Tourism Ireland’s Business Plan for 2015 and the Chair and CEO also gave presentations on the work of the agency since the last NSMC meeting and their views on prospects for overseas tourism for the year ahead.

Commenting after the meeting, Minister Donohoe stated: “I was delighted to chair my first NSMC Tourism Sectoral meeting today and we had a very useful engagement.

“Irish tourism has enjoyed a very successful period recently and which we are determined to grow even further.

“Tourism Ireland’s Business 2015 Plan, as approved at this morning’s meeting, is targeting further growth in overseas visits to Ireland this year of 6% and an increase in the associated revenue of 7%.

“Thankfully the agency reported that sentiment in our overseas markets is positive and we are very confident that these targets will be achieved.

“This is good news for everybody involved in Irish tourism as they plan for the peak tourism season.”

After the NSMC tourism meeting, Minister Donohoe met with senior representatives from the Ulster GAA at the Association’s provincial headquarters in Armagh.

The Minister also availed of the opportunity to visit St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral and Armagh Public Library, the oldest library in Northern Ireland.

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