PACK up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile – the government is to offer a €50 incentive to people to beat the recession blues by taking a short holiday break in Ireland this autumn. The initiative is part of a €3m package of measures to boost struggling domestic tourism.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen is the driving force behind the initiative that, along with the €50 voucher, includes a range of discounts and special offers on weekend breaks. People will be able to offset the voucher against some of the offers in the proposed brochure.

An opinion poll last week showed three quarters of people wanted a new government, but the Taoiseach may be hoping that a rest is as good as a change.

The details of the campaign are still being finalised, but will be announced in the next fortnight. Informed sources said it would involve the promotion of "value-for-money holiday options in Ireland", identifying the range of visitor attractions and activities available, including "free and discounted attractions".

It is understood that Cowen proposed the initiative of creating a 'one-stop shop' style promotion – with the involvement of the OPW, which manages the state's heritage sites, the Department of Tourism, the National Gallery and Fáilte Ireland – as a means of supporting tourism jobs and businesses. The campaign will be widely promoted in print, radio and TV media over the coming months.