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Shared Island Dialogue on Tourism to examine new opportunities for collaboration and sustainable approaches to tourism on the island

Ministerfor Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD to address event Dialogue will hear from leading industry experts

Tourism agencies, organisations and interest groups will examine the success of tourism cooperation on the island of Ireland and explore how best to enhance opportunities for domestic and international visitors in the years ahead at the Shared Island Dialogue, “Tourism on the shared island: Building on past success to create a sustainable future”, which takes place tomorrow (Thursday 20 January 2022). Speaking in advance of the event, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD said, “The Tourism sector is already a shining example of what can be achieved when we work together on this island, with a shared purpose and for clear mutual benefit. “Working together, we have been able to harness the natural beauty and tourism potential of the whole island offering exciting experiences for tourists while supporting communities across the length and breadth of the island.  Visitors are able to arrive in Dublin and enjoy all that it has to offer, then head North to experience the Titanic, Giant’s Causeway and Game of Thrones sites, before coming back South to visit the Skelligs or Spike Island, with some pit stops along the Wild Atlantic Way to break up the journey.

“Our task is to work in partnership for the full recovery of the tourism sector, North and South, not least by growing sustainable, on-island tourism, which is part of how we can better share the island. “Through the Shared Island Fund, the Government is already investing in the development of sustainable tourism infrastructure on the island. Funding for the cross-border Ulster Canal and Narrow Water Bridge projects will provide blueways and greenways that will grow sustainable tourism in the central and east border regions.

“We will continue to champion and support the growth of sustainable tourism across the island in the years ahead. Under the revised National Development Plan, the Government committed to creating an island-wide greenway network, that will link the Atlantic coast with the Eastern seaboard, and we will work with the Northern Ireland Executive on the development of new large-scale tourism opportunities: from marketing initiatives; to linking up the Wild Atlantic Way with the Causeway Coastal Route, and continuing on to create a coastal tourist trail along our eastern and southern coasts.” The Dialogue will hear from people working in the tourism sector in Ireland, Northern Ireland and further afield on how enhanced cooperation can build on the successes achieved over the past 20 years. There will also be a focus on future challenges and opportunities for the industry, particularly in the area of sustainable tourism development.

The Shared Island Dialogue series was launched by the Taoiseach in October 2020 as part of the Government’s Shared Island initiative, to foster constructive and inclusive dialogue engaging with all communities and traditions on a shared future on the island underpinned by the Good Friday Agreement. -Ends- Note to Editor:Shared Island Dialogue series

  1. This Dialogue is the first Shared Island Dialogue of 2022 and is the eighth event in the Shared Island Dialogue series that was launched by the Taoiseach in October 2020 to foster constructive and inclusive civic dialogue with all communities and traditions on a shared future on the island, underpinned by the Good Friday Agreement.
  • Content from the event will be posted on social media throughout the day by @merrionstreet and you can follow the discussion online using #SharedIsland
  • The Shared Island Dialogue series has been focusing on important issues for the future of the island, including climate change and environment, equality, education and economic recovery.  The previous Dialogue in October, “Learning from each other: The future of education on a shared island”, can be viewed here.
  • The Dialogue series will contribute to the Government’s approach to the Shared Island initiative, complementing commissioned research being published through this year, and the implementation of commitments on a Shared Island that are set out in the Programme for Government.
  • Strengthening social, economic and political links on the island and the promotion of all-island approaches to the strategic challenges facing Ireland, North and South are key objectives.  
  • The Shared Island Dialogues are being organised by the Shared Island unit in the Department of the Taoiseach in partnership with Government Departments. Today’s dialogue was delivered in collaboration with the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, and the Department of Foreign Affairs.
  • Further information on the Shared Island initiative, can be found on and the previous Plenary sessions of the Shared Island Dialogues are available to watch at