Should Ireland join Schengen? These are the 38 points in the ITIC plan for Irish tourism.


A Metro to the airport, a SAF production facility, bring back Taste the Island and join the Schengen area visa free zone, these are the 38 points in the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation’s plan for Irish tourism.


1. Irish tourism industry to partner with Government and Agencies to deliver sector climate action programme.

2. Develop a unified island of Ireland certification principle for tourism enterprises and incentivise businesses to join same.

3. A strategic partnership between Fáilte Ireland and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland for benefit of industry to help it transition to carbon reduction.

4. Ireland to take a lead in Sustainable Aviation Fuel, hydrogen and biofuels R&D and production, supported by financial incentives.

5. Expedite energy efficiency developments through planning process.

6. Ireland to sign up to Glasgow Declaration, a UNWTO declaration that aims to lead and align climate action across tourism stakeholders including Government, Agencies and Industry.

7. Assist businesses transition to carbon-neutrality, and support circular tourism economy, explore development of off-setting project within Ireland including biodiversity, reforestation, sequestration.

8. Expedite electrification of road transportation with roll out of fast charging infrastructure nationwide. The Zero Emissions Vehicles Ireland (ZEVI) should be fast-tracked with partnership with hotels and attractions.


9. Tourism businesses to deliver high satisfaction and value for money rating from visitors.

10. Tourism competitiveness be monitored and addressed, paying particular attention to labour, insurance and regulatory costs, in line with recommendations of the National Competitiveness Council.

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11. The 9pc VAT rate should be restored to ensure Irish tourism’s competitiveness compared to its European peers.

12. Prime domestic marketing to increase value of staycations year round.

13. Strategic review of overseas source markets to deliver a balanced portfolio of revenue potential and value-added segmentation.

14. Refresh and renew Tourism Brand Ireland and review efficacy of regional brands.

15. Review consumer segmentation to finite budgets are targeted efficiently in overseas markets.

16. In the light of changing border entry protocols across Europe and the UK, a review of Ireland’s entry and visa requirements is opportune, including the merits or disadvantages of joining Schengen, to ensure that Ireland is not competitively disadvantaged.

17. Re-establish the Taste the Island initiative and deliver a new Food Tourism Strategy for Ireland.

18. Grow Ireland’s digital leadership in tourism marketing and e-commerce capability.

19. Support Dublin Airport in delivering high quality international connectivity in the national interest, through growth in passenger and aircraft movements and delivery of air transport related infrastructure to improve safety, efficiency, customer services and access.

20. A new Regional Airport Programme 2025-2030 required, aligned to EU State Aid limits, to ensure the sustainability of airports providing connectivity to the Regions.

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21. Prioritisation of tourism enabling infrastructure – airport development; Metro link to Dublin Airport; national broadband roll-out; improved motorway access; and coach parking.


22. Surplus of €1.5 bn within National Training Fund to be made accessible to tourism and hospitality enterprises.

23. A new Hospitality Centre of Excellence, under the auspices of an existing third level institute, modelled on Switzerland’s success in hospitality skills and lifelong learning.

24. Inclusion of identified hospitality skills on Eligible Occupation list to meet sector’s labour shortages.

25. Explore Continuous Professional Development opportunities for professionals in the industry. 

26. Establishment of Tourism & Hospitality Careers Oversight Group funded through National Training Fund.


27. A comprehensive two year plan as to how Ukrainian refugees and international asylum seekers are to be housed and how over-reliance on tourism accommodation stock is to be reduced.

28. Financial incentives to attract investment in visitor accommodation in designated areas.

29. Ensure short term tourist let legislation from EU is applied responsibly to protect self-catering tourism product in regional Ireland.

30. Reduce bottleneck in car hire supply by introducing VAT equalisation measure.

31. Minimum €50m annual capital investment programmes in product innovation to complement private sector commitment including development of Midlands and North-East hero attractors.

32. A blueprint for tourism product & experiences out to 2030 including a review of historic buildings in State ownership re potential tourism use and funding for same.

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33. Sustained minimum €200m annual investment in Failte Ireland and Tourism Ireland to ensure industry supports and appropriate domestic and international marketing campaigns.

34. A strategic study to identify how new technology, artificial intelligence and robotics will impact the tourism sector, its industry and consumers.

35. Complete Regional Events Centre and maximise business tourism value to country.

36. Responsibility for tourism, as a key indigenous enterprise sector, be assigned to an economic Ministry, alongside other business sector.

37. In a changing economic and business environment, a review of tourism legislation is due as well as strengthening of the roles of State agencies therein.

38. A review of the sources, methodologies, timeliness and robustness of Ireland’s tourism data is opportune to ensure that it reflects current international best practice.

The full report is available here:




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