Fáilte Ireland is the National Tourism Development Authority of Ireland. This authority was established under the National Tourism Development Authority Act of 2003 and replaces and builds upon the functions of Bord Fáilte, its predecessor organization. Fáilte Ireland's current CEO is Redmond O'Donoghue.
The legal name of the body is the National Tourism Development Authority, according to the National Tourism Development Authority Act 2003 which established it. The 2003 act also empowers the body to use the trading name of Fáilte Ireland. The word fáilte is Irish for "welcome". In official Irish-language texts the form Fáilte Éireann has been used.
After the foundation of the Irish Free State in 1922, hoteliers and others created local tourism boards in various regions, which combined in 1924 into the Irish Tourism Association (ITA), a private organisation "promoting tourism to the benefit of the nation". (An earlier, unionist-led, ITA existed from 1895 to 1921.) ITA lobbying led to the Irish Tourist Board being established by the Tourist Traffic Act 1939. This was renamed An Bord Fáilte by the Tourist Traffic Act 1952, which created a separate body, Fógra Fáilte, to handle publicity. The Tourist Traffic Act 1955 remerged the two as Bord Fáilte Éireann (BFÉ or "Bord Fáilte"). An Tóstal, a summer cultural festival held from 1953 to 1959, took up the bulk of the authority's work in this period. In 1963 the Council of Education, Recruitment and Training (CERT) was created to take over training of workers in the hospitality industry. In 1964, eight regional tourist organisations (RTOs) were established which were intended to supersede the ITA; an extraordinary general meeting called in 1964 to dissolve the ITA voted not to do so, but it nevertheless soon became defunct.
The RTOs reduced in number to six in the 1980s, and were renamed regional tourist associations (RTAs) in 1996. In 1989 the Dublin RTO lost a High Court action to prevent BFÉ dissolving it; it was reconstituted as Dublin Tourism more closely controlled by BFÉ. In 2003 CERT and BFÉ merged to form Fáilte Ireland, to better co-ordinate with Tourism Ireland, the all-island body established under the Good Friday Agreement. The advent of travel websites reduced the usefulness of the RTAs and a 2005 PricewaterhouseCoopers report recommended substantial reorganisation; as a consequence all were dissolved in 2006, except Dublin Tourism, which was made a subsidiary of Fáilte Ireland. Dublin Tourism's separate status ended in 2012 in line with a 2011 report by Grant Thornton. Fáilte Ireland played a leading role in The Gathering Ireland 2013, a year-long programme of events encouraging members of the Irish diaspora to visit their region of origin.
The goal of Fáilte Ireland is to provide strategic and practical support in developing and sustaining Ireland as a high-quality and competitive tourist destination. Fáilte Ireland works in partnership with tourism interests to support the industry in its efforts to be more profitable and to help individual tourist enterprises enhance their performance.
Its activities fall into four areas:
- Tourism Marketing: provides marketing support and a range of cost-efficient promotional opportunities for Irish product providers, marketing groups, tour operators, handling agents, and other tourism interests as well as visitor services to consumers. Fáilte Ireland's "Festivals and Cultural Events Initiative" and "Sports Tourism Initiative" fall under this heading.
- Training Services: provides education and advice for people working in the tourism industry including training unemployed adults and assisting them back into the workforce. Fáilte Ireland have recently launched a new campaign which aims to encourage and support young people into choosing a career in the tourism sector. The campaign is called 'Pick Tourism' and it ulitises social networking sites such as Bebo in an effort to reach out to young people.
- Product Development: provides support for selective capital investment in tourism product through grant-aid and tax incentive schemes and encourages new and innovative products and areas of service.
- Research and Statistics: provides overviews of tourism performance and profiles all aspects of tourism development to provides a knowledge base to guide industry development and services.
Fáilte Ireland has identified and markets several tourism regions, including:
- The Wild Atlantic Way
- Ireland's Ancient East
- Casey, J. Jerome; O'Rourke, Felim (October 2011). "Appendix 1: National Tourism Organisations and Irish Tourism" (PDF). Rejuvenating Dublin’s Tourism Product (PDF). Dublin City Business Association. pp. 97–101. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
- Grant Thornton (December 2011). "Dublin Tourism Final Report: A review of Dublin Tourism on behalf of Fáilte Ireland" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
- Strategy Advisory Services (April 2005). "Review of Regional Tourism Structures in Ireland" (PDF). PricewaterhouseCoopers. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
- Zuelow, Eric G. E. (2008-01-01). "Bord Fáilte Eireann". In Byrne, James Patrick; Coleman, Philip; King, Jason Francis. Ireland and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History : a Multidisciplinary Encyclopedia. Vol.2. ABC-CLIO. pp. 103–104. ISBN 9781851096145. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
- Zuelow, Eric (2009). Making Ireland Irish: Tourism and National Identity Since the Irish Civil War. Syracuse University Press. ISBN 9780815632252. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
- "National Tourism Development Authority Act 2003". Irish Statute Book. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
- National Tourism Development Authority Act 2003, Sections 37–38
- National Tourism Development Authority Act 2003, Section 7
- "Legal Terms". Failte Ireland. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
The Website is operated by the National Tourism Development Authority, also known as Fáilte Ireland ("we" or the "Authority")
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- "Tuarascáil Bhliantúil 2014" (PDF) (in Irish). Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. pp. 33–34. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 September 2015. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
- Dean, Joan FitzPatrick. "Review: Making Ireland Irish". Estudios Irlandeses. Spanish Association for Irish Studies. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
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- "Tourist Traffic Act, 1952". Irish Statute Book. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
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- Zuelow 2009, p.85
- Strategy Advisory Services 2005, p.31 fn.7
- Casey and O'Rourke 2011, p.98
- Strategy Advisory Services 2005, Chapter 9
- Casey and O'Rourke 2011, p.99
- Strategy Advisory Services 2005
- Tourism Policy Review Group; Travers, John (30 September 2003). New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action. Report of the Tourism Policy Review Group to John O’Donoghue T.D. Minister for Arts, Sport & Tourism (PDF). ISBN 0-7557-1780-5.
- Grant Thornton 2011, p.3: "Although Dublin Tourism had been in existence since 1964, it has been a subsidiary of Fáilte Ireland since 2006. At that time, all of the other dedicated regional tourism authorities in Ireland were merged into Fáilte Ireland in line with recommendations contained in a report by PwC. A decision was taken however not to integrate Dublin Tourism on foot of another report, the Travers Report, but instead to make it a subsidiary of Fáilte Ireland which afforded it a semi-protected status as a state body in that the Exchequer stands over its losses."
- Grant Thornton 2011, p.5: "Our overall recommendation is that Dublin Tourism is subsumed into Fáilte Ireland and the board of Dublin Tourism disbanded."
- "Our History". About Us. Failte Ireland. Retrieved 30 November 2015.