Fáilte Ireland has welcomed Communications Minister, Pat Rabbitte’s announcement of a new Rural Broadband Scheme aimed at providing universal broadband access throughout Ireland by the end of 2012.
The introduction of this new scheme is an important development for Irish tourism as the internet becomes one of the most popular tools used by visitors when choosing their destination and planning their holiday.
According to the latest Fáilte Ireland Visitor Attitudes Survey (2010 ), almost half the overseas visitors to Ireland (48 per cent ) cited the internet as a factor in choosing Ireland as a destination with two out of every three (68 per cent ) stating that they used the internet to plan their holiday.
Welcoming the initiative Shaun Quinn, CEO Fáilte Ireland emphasised the value of this new scheme to the Irish tourism industry. “The internet has become an invaluable tool for tourism businesses seeking to promote themselves in the current economic climate. With more visitors seeking information and recommendations on destinations online, it is crucial that those providing the tourism service in Ireland have internet access so that they can have an online presence and can be active in this space.
“Moreover, at a time of economic challenge, the internet also provides businesses with an extremely cost-effective solution to marketing themselves, particularly on a global scale.
“I am delighted to welcome this new scheme as I believe it is a positive step towards removing one of the many barriers facing tourism businesses in Westmeath, as they fight to bring more overseas visitors, and revenue to our shores.”
This year Fáilte Ireland is placing an increased focus on skills development in the area of e-business by offering a comprehensive range of e-business supports to Irish tourism businesses.