An Taisce can play a lead role, both at home and abroad in the promotion of tourism and outdoor recreation. The imagery used by Fáilte Ireland in its current campaigns is based on the quality of landscapes and attractive towns and villages. The focus of An Taisce’s involvement in planning during the boom years was to protect this legacy, for which we were often condemned.

Outdoor recreation is a key part of health and well being in a society where sedentary suburbanised lifestyles prevail. It brings understanding of the wealth of the natural world, the changes in season and our dependence on a healthy environment and stable climate. Emphasis should be placed on the marketing of walking and cycling trips and eco-tourism. This will go some way to break the tourism sector’s dependence on oil, stopping the tourism sector’s contributions to global warming and preparing the tourism sector with the resilience to thrive in a time of energy and climate uncertainty.

Given the current energy and climate uncertainty, An Taisce has sought a specific objectives to enhance new low emissions cross channel ferries to Britain and the continent and work with the governments of the United Kingdom to promote the electrification of the London Holyhead line from Crewe-through Wales, which would lessen our dependence on aviation but maintain strong links with those travelling from the continent.

An Taisce also criticised tax relief schemes. During the 1990’s and the early years of the last decade, tourism in Ireland has been fuelled by building tax relief rather than any real strategy. An Taisce has asked that any tax relief measures should be evidence based and targeted at a range of geographical and segmental markets and should not increase unsustainable consumption.

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