Minister Joe McHugh
FINE Gael Minister Joe McHugh, has said that Donegal stands to benefit from Fine Gael’s plan to create 50,000 new jobs in tourism and increase the number of visitors to 10 million by 2025.
The plans include a new €100 million capital injection in the Wild Atlantic Way and a nationwide greenways network. He maintained Fine Gael’s plans for the tourism sector will boost revenues from overseas tourists by €5 billion and will make a significant contribution to regional job creation.
“Tourism is an extremely important source of employment in Donegal. Fine Gael in Government has prioritised the tourism sector, and as the economy continues to recover we must aim to attract more tourists to Donegal and to build on the progress we’ve already started.
“Fine Gael in Government has implemented tourism friendly policies, such as reducing the VAT rate to 9 per cent and scrapping the air travel tax, which have helped to grow visitor numbers to 8.6 million in 2015. In contrast, Fianna Fáil neglected the tourism sector and as a result visitor numbers dropped by almost a quarter, which had a negative impact on the local industry here in Donegal.
He added: “Fine Gael will build on the success of the Wild Atlantic Way and will target increased investment in new facilities for walking, cycling (greenways) and water based (blueways) activities to take the Wild Atlantic Way to the next level. This will help to boost activity based tourism in places like Fanad Lighthouse, Slieve League and Malin Head.”
Minister McHugh concluded: “Fianna Fáil introduced the air travel tax and did nothing to support the thousands of small business owners who are reliant on the tourism sector. Fine Gael, in contrast, prioritised the tourism sector and if re-elected to Government we will continue to do so through targeted investment to increase visitor numbers, revenue and job creation in Donegal.”