Coghlan not running for FG
Former World Champion athlete Eamonn Coghlan yesterday backed Fine Gael's new tourism plan.
But party sources said the track star would not be running for the party.
Fine Gael tourism spokesman Jimmy Deenihan said he wanted to see sporting ambassadors such as Coghlan used to promote Ireland abroad as a holiday and sporting destination. Mr Deenihan's plan is to increase the numbers employed in the tourism sector by 40,000 -- back to the levels the industry was at in 2007.
Fine Gael wants Tourism Ireland, the all-Ireland tourism promotion body, to operate more closely with Failte Ireland, and also wants to target the Chinese and Indian markets by reducing the red tape that applying for a tourist visa entails.
But the party was somewhat more equivocal on the subject of 'ghost hotels', which operate at a loss by offering cut-price rooms to retain the value of the property and which threaten the viability of established hotels.