Fáilte Ireland announces ambitious 2024 plans with focus on sustainable tourism development

Wednesday, February 21, 2024. 11:44am

Fáilte Ireland

Fáilte Ireland has unveiled its ambitious plans to drive sustainable tourism development across Ireland and support the decarbonisation of tourism businesses at its annual industry briefing today. The National Tourism Development Authority unveiled its 2024 plans at a special virtual event for the tourism industry, opened by Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin TD, and watched by over 1500 tourism operators, providers, and employers from across the sector.  

Central to the plans is a new Climate Action Programme, developed in consultation with tourism businesses, which includes the appointment of a dedicated advisor to businesses to help navigate every step of the climate action journey. 

To accelerate the decarbonisation of the tourism sector in line with national carbon emissions reduction targets, Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin announced that Fáilte Ireland has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). This partnership will ensure tourism businesses can easily access the financial supports available to reduce carbon emissions, increase energy efficiency and adopt renewable technologies. 

Fáilte Ireland announces ambitious 2024 plans with focus on sustainable tourism development


The National Tourism Development Authority will also celebrate the 10th anniversary of its first regional tourism brand the Wild Atlantic Way in 2024. Every county in the Republic of Ireland is now covered by a Fáilte Ireland regional tourism brand – Wild Atlantic Way, Dublin, Ireland’s Ancient East and Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, which provide a blueprint for Fáilte Ireland’s ongoing destination development. 

Fáilte Ireland announces ambitious 2024 plans with focus on sustainable tourism development

To continue to motivate visitors to take a domestic break in Ireland and encourage overseas visitors to choose Ireland as a destination, Fáilte Ireland updated the industry on its future potential pipeline of up to 150 new or upgraded tourism projects that may be developed across its four regional brands. Eight of these new visitor attractions and experiences are due to open in 2024 including Queen Maeve Square in Co. Sligo, a new water sports facility in Curracloe, Co. Wexford, Dublin Castle Records Tower in Dublin city centre and Connaught Harbour in Portumna, Co. Galway. 


As part of the virtual session, Fáilte Ireland presented its latest research on the tourism industry’s expectations for 2024. Headline findings showed that most tourism businesses are predicting 2024 will be better than 2023, with 44% of respondents expecting an increase in visitors this year and 21% expecting fewer visitors. 

However, businesses are still reporting concerns about rising operational costs in 2024 with half of businesses saying the minimum wage increase will have a ‘significant’ impact on their payroll costs. The ongoing capacity constraints is also noted as a worry for 2024. Fáilte Ireland’s latest research is available here.

Minister for Tourism, Catherine Martin TD also announced today that Fáilte Ireland will administer a new business support grant specifically for Activity and Attraction businesses in areas who have been significantly affected by this displacement of registered tourism accommodation stock. Details of this scheme will be announced on 4th March by Fáilte Ireland. 

Fáilte Ireland announces ambitious 2024 plans with focus on sustainable tourism development

Speaking at the event, Minister Martin said “Driving sustainable development in the tourism sector is more important than ever, and the Government of Ireland and Fáilte Ireland are committed to delivering on our collective sustainable development goals. The new partnership between Fáilte Ireland and SEAI will provide a framework for decarbonising tourism businesses, and I am continuing to progress the development of a new national tourism policy framework that will seek to mainstream sustainability. Tourism is a key economic driver in cities, towns and villages across Ireland and I look forward to supporting Fáilte Ireland over the coming year as it implements its workplans to support sustainable tourism development nationwide.” 

Fáilte Ireland announces ambitious 2024 plans with focus on sustainable tourism development

Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland

Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland said: “2024 presents a lot of opportunities for the sustainable development of the tourism industry and today we are energised and optimistic as we announce our ambitious plans for the year ahead. We are acutely aware of the impact that costs, competitiveness, and capacity constraints continue to have on the tourism sector and Fáilte Ireland remains committed to supporting tourism businesses to manage these challenges, while also focusing on the biggest long-term challenge for us all – climate change. We can see very clear and significant opportunities to decarbonise tourism businesses across Ireland, and this will be a key focus for us in the year ahead. We are pleased today to officially enter into a partnership with the SEAI to ensure seamless working between the agencies and our new industry-leading Climate Action Programme will directly support individual tourism businesses to tackle their carbon footprint and in doing so, support the carbon targets set out by Government”.

Commenting on the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the two organisations, CEO of SEAI William Walsh said: 

“SEAI and Fáilte Ireland play an important role in supporting the decarbonisation of the tourism industry in Ireland. This new Memorandum of Understanding will help SEAI and Fáilte Ireland raise awareness of supports that are available to enable the tourism sector to deliver national climate action targets, reduce carbon emissions and replace fossil fuels systems across all activities.”


Read more news HERE

Share this:

Explore topics: