Strong tourism focus in Mid East Action Plan will help create 25,000 jobs – Doherty

-   Regina Doherty TD

Fine Gael TD for Meath East, Regina Doherty has said that she is confident that the Mid East Action Plan for Jobs, launched today (Monday) by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, will build on Meath’s strengths and successfully help create 25,000 new jobs in the region. Deputy Doherty particularly welcomed the focus on tourism in the plan.

“I am delighted to see that the plan focuses on exploiting the great tourism potential in Meath and the wider region. The plan aims to bring together Boyne Valley Tourism and stakeholders in Kildare and Wicklow to drive collaboration on tourism initiatives. There is a strong focus on issues of skills, job creation, amenity development and supporting companies in the tourism sector.

“Ireland’s Ancient East is key to achieving the Government’s Tourism Policy Statement to grow overseas tourist numbers to 10 million, increase overseas tourism revenue to €5 billion, and grow employment in the sector by 25% to 2025.

“Tourism is key to the economy in Meath. We have fantastic visitor and tourism amenities in Meath and this plan can benefit existing businesses and visitor attractions such as Tayto Park in Ashbourne.

“There is huge potential in this area but also a major challenge in encouraging day-trippers to the county to stay overnight. In order to do this we must develop and raise standards of accommodation, and we must think about alternative accommodation options.

“The retention of the 9% VAT rate has been a boost to the tourism sector and the Mid East Action Plan for Jobs aims to harness this potential.

“The Mid East Action Plan for Jobs will support the “Boyne Valley Waterway Through Time” which aims to boost economic development in the Boyne Valley region through the restoration of 35km of waterways on the Boyne and connected walkways and canals.

“The plan also supports the progression of the Boyne Valley Food Hub by Meath Enterprise, Meath County Council and the Institute of Technologies. This will further improve the region’s capacity for food innovation and research.

“This Government is committed to keeping the recovery going and to ensuring that it spreads throughout the country. Based on the success nationally of the Action Plan for Jobs, and the strong buy in by local stakeholders, it is realistic to target 25,000 additional jobs in Meath, Kildare and Wicklow by 2020.

“The Government has committed up to €250 million in funding over the next five years to support the Regional Action Plans.  I am confident that the Mid East Regional Action Plan for Jobs will deliver for Co. Meath.

“Fine Gael has a clear plan to keep the recovery going. More people in work creates the resources to cut taxes for working people and invest in better services, improving living standards for all. This will ensure more people feel the benefits of a recovering economy in their own lives. The next election will be a choice between those with a plan to keep the recovery going, or those who will put it at risk through instability and chaos.”

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