Ministers Commit To Sustainable Tourism Across The Island Of Ireland

Ministers Conor Murphy and Catherine Martin have signed an agreement emphasising the need for tourism to be environmentally, socially and economically sustainable on the island of Ireland.

The Ministers signed a Joint Ministerial Statement supporting Sustainable Tourism in advance of the North South Ministerial Council (NSMC) Tourism Sectoral meeting in Armagh.

Ministers committed to creating a vibrant and competitive tourism sector that makes a significant contribution across the island, is environmentally sustainable, helps promote a positive image of the island of Ireland overseas and enables local communities to prosper.

Minister Murphy said: "Tourism is a vital contributor to the all island economy. We must embrace the opportunity the sector presents as we grow our economy, in a sustainable way. I see this as critically important and done right, the transition to a greener and more sustainable economy can be a just transition that also generates prosperity for all.

"The joint Ministerial statement affirms the importance of sustainability in the tourism sector and I was pleased to have the opportunity to discuss this at the North South Ministerial Tourism meeting today. We are committed to ongoing collaboration between our tourism agencies, industry and stakeholders as we drive sustainable growth for our tourism sector."
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The need for tourism to be environmentally, socially and economically sustainable on the island of Ireland is widely accepted by those involved in the sector. Policy in both jurisdictions is evolving to reflect this reality.

Following the meeting, Minister Martin added: "The importance of tourism, on both sides of the border, and the joint approach taken to the promotion and development of the sector, led to tourism being one of the areas chosen for formal North-South cooperation. That co-operation has been hugely beneficial, with the tourism sector now an exemplar of what can be achieved when we work together on this island, with a shared purpose.

"It was great to resume North South Ministerial Engagement on tourism matters today. In particular, to affirm my commitment to work together with all stakeholders towards achieving a sustainable tourism sector. I want to see a vibrant tourism sector that drives improved visitor satisfaction levels with a greater regional spread across the island, is environmentally sustainable, helps promote a positive image of the island of Ireland overseas, and makes a positive impact on local communities.

"This is an issue that is at the heart of the new national tourism policy framework that is being developed by my Department. The framework will integrate environmental, social and economic considerations across all policy objectives."

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