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Wednesday 26 October 2016

Short-stay visa-waiver programme extended

Published 15/10/2016 | 02:30

Niall Gibbons of Tourism Ireland Photo: Frank McGrath
Niall Gibbons of Tourism Ireland Photo: Frank McGrath

A short-stay visa waiver programme that allows certain non-EU nationals to travel from the UK into Ireland unimpeded has been extended.

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Under the Programme, which was agreed in 2011, tourists or business people who have lawfully entered the UK, including Northern Ireland, on a valid UK visa will be able to travel on to the Republic without the need for an Irish visa.

The programme has now been extended for another five years until the end of October 2021.

"The scheme has been regarded by all tourism-promotion agencies as a success since its inception and has contributed to ongoing increases in tourism," a statement from the Department of Justice stated. "In this regard, it is noted that tourism figures have risen year on year, with Dublin Airport having its busiest year to date in 2015, with a record 25 million passengers travelling through the airport last year."

Meanwhile, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross, yesterday met with the CEO of Tourism Ireland, Niall Gibbons, to assess the prospects for tourism in the context of Brexit.

"We are closely monitoring developments in the British outbound tourism market. As our closest neighbour and our largest source market for overseas visits, Britain will remain a priority market," Mr Ross said.

"In parallel with that, a review of new and developing tourism markets is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2017."

Irish Independent

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