Ryanair, Europe’s No.1 low fares airline, today (31st March 2003) threw a life-line to Irish Tourism, by outlining a rescue plan that would revolutionise visitor numbers and jobs in the ailing Irish Tourism sector.
Detailing the plan at the Tourism Policy Review Group meeting, Ryanair’s Deputy Chief Executive, Michael Cawley said:
“For too long Irish Tourism has been strangled by high access costs and antiquated approaches to increasing visitors to Ireland. Ryanair has consistently called on the Government to open up Ireland and the Airport monopoly to competition and lower cost access to visitors. There is a massive opportunity for Ireland just waiting to be delivered.
Ryanair have offered a rescue plan for Irish Tourism, the key points of which are:
? Open up the Aer Rianta monopoly at Dublin Airport to Competition. Competing second (and third) terminals, competing car-parks, and competing hotels, will improve services and lower costs for airlines, visitors and tourists.? Reduce access costs and improved facilities for tourists visiting Ireland.? Ryanair have guaranteed 4 million new passengers, which will generate up to 4,000 new jobs.? Reduce the obsession with the U.S. - it’s too far away and won’t deliver significant growth.? Double Tourism Ireland’s budget by €50M by allocating wasted PSO subsidies to U.K and European marketing.? All Tourism Ireland budgets to be at least 80% advertising.? All Tourism Ireland funding to be 50:50 with tourism operators? Separate Cork and Shannon airports. Sell them to local interests with 10 year licences to grow traffic.
Ryanair has offered to guarantee an additional 4 Million inbound visitors annually to Dublin and Shannon each year for the past 5 years, and each year it has been ignored. If this Review Group wants to make a real and significant difference, then advocate the Ryanair plan - 6 other EU countries - except Ireland have!”