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Battle to put tourist spotlight on capital

A MAJOR push is on to have Dublin marketed separately from the rest of the country as a tourist destination. THE capital is well-known by the British and Americans but should get its own unique branding and be promoted heavily in emerging economies, says a new report from Dublin City Council. Opulentus IrelandThe Roadmap for Branding Dublin 2012's recommendation comes after a previous high- profile document strongly criticised Failte Ireland's efforts at marketing the capital abroad. The earlier paper, by economist Felim O'Rourke, argued: "A key reason for the decline of tourism in Ireland is the low level of repeat holiday visiting. Ireland gets 0.5 repeat visitor for every first time visitor compared with 4.5 for Spain and two for Scotland." Fine Gael's Paddy McCartan believes the capital is not making the most of its attractions, such as Dublin Castle, the Guinness Storehouse, Trinity and Kilmainham Gaol. "I feel that Dublin is under-selling itself," the city councillor told the Herald today. He gave the example of Friday's Culture Night, which was a reminder of how many fantastic locations the city has to offer. Buzzing "I was pleasantly surprised at the take up. Town was buzzing on Friday night," Mr McCartan said. The Roadmap report, compiled by the city council's economic unit, has recommended a new Creative Dublin Alliance, which would include the four local authorities in the capital. IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and Failte Ireland should also be involved, it says. Business leader Tom Coffey, who has strongly lobbied for changes, has said Dublin Castle should be raking in €20m a year from tourism instead of acting as a parking area for Revenue Commissioners staff. The castle should contain six or seven museums, said Mr Coffey, chief executive of the Dublin City Business Association (DCBA). Mr Coffey says the city council should be in charge of tourism in the capital, rather than central government and Failte Ireland. But Failte Ireland says the organisation is "very much committed to Dublin". In 2012, they spent €17m on the capital and announced plans for a 'Dubline' heritage trail. Source: Cormac Murphy, Herald.ie

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