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.
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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.