Local Fianna Fáil TD, Michael Finneran, is encouraging people working in the tourism industry in Roscommon to come together to aim for a share of the €100 million Tourism Capital Investment Programme which was launched by the Minister for Arts, Sports and Tourism Seamus Brennan TD this week. The significant fund will be directed towards the development of international-class visitor attractions and leisure facilities, according to Deputy Finneran, and he believes that tourism interests in Roscommon must work together to identify key attractions and areas of potential in the county. ‘Roscommon has so much going for it in terms of its natural beauty but we have some distance to go yet to bring our own distinct ‘tourism product’ to an international standard,’ he said. ‘The Tourism Capital Investment Programme which was launched by Minister Brennan this week sets out an ambitious target for Ireland. In order to keep up in the increasingly competitive global tourism industry, we must constantly refresh and improve our product. ‘This fund will be administered by Fáilte Ireland and advertisements inviting submissions will be placed in the national newspapers in the next week or two. ‘It is intended that some €70 million of the fund will go towards upgrading many of the leading tourist attractions as well as investing in new projects, and some €30 million will be targeted at enhancing leisure and activity facilities. ‘So there is scope there for existing facilities and for proposals for new facilities. Tourism is so important to Roscommon, and to the entire island. The industry accounts for four percent of the GNP and employs some 250,000 people and we must do what we can to capitalise on that and to encourage growth in the industry.’ ‘I would like to encourage those who work in the tourism field in the county to come together and to work together on achieving maximum funding for the country under this Programme,’ he concluded.