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Plans for Increased Regional Access Vital for Tourism Spread throughout Ireland

IHF Galway branch press release

Monday 13th February 2006

The Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) last year welcomed the euro34.4 billion Government transport plan as providing "major benefits for the growth of regional tourism if implemented within the stated deadlines." According to John Bourke, Chairman of the IHF's Galway Branch, "the creation of new regional road and rail access routes to the regions will, in time, address the current infrastructural deficit of the regions and provide a major incentive for tourism in the future."

Mr Bourke stated that, "The BMW Area and West of the Shannon have suffered stagnated growth in Tourism over the past decade, and unless access issues are urgently addressed, the situation will continue to deteriorate." According to Mr Bourke, the IHF joins with other industry bodies in commending the resolve of the Government, the National Roads Authority, Galway County Council and Galway City Council and welcomes the fact that a resolution to the problems are in sight.

The IHF recognises the need for urgent action to achieve early completion of the following three High Priority Infrastructural Deficit issues:

  • Completion of the N17/N18 - Galway/Shannon/Tuam/Sligo
  • Completion of the N6 - Oranmore/Ballinasloe/Dublin
  • Completion of the Galway City Outer By-Pass (GCOB)  

Of equal importance is the need to fast track plans for scheduled train services between Galway, Shannon, Limerick and Sligo and the early provision of commuter train services for Tuam/Athenry/Oranmore/Galway City.  The IHF supports the allocation of resources to upgrade the Intercity Galway-Dublin route and calls for further improved and urgent remedial action.

In addition, the IHF recognises recent improvements in Air Access for the West of Ireland through IrelandWest Airport Knock, Galway Airport and Shannon Airport that will result in more tourists throughout.  Such improvement in air access brings with it short-stay and weekend tourists, who are attracted by the availability of inexpensive air fares.

According to Mr Bourke, "The island of Ireland must maintain its focus on continued infrastructural improvements and investment if it is to maintain its present enviable worldwide status as a destination of choice for Tourists."








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