Having hosted events in 2001 such as the Laser World and Laser Master World Championships, the Irish Government has upped the ante in the race to attract major international sports events to Euro 45.72 Million.
Following the initial success of the Ireland's International Sports Tourism Initiative, the Irish Government has reaffirmed their substantial commitment to attracting major international sporting events to Ireland in Wednesday's Budget 2002. The International Sports Tourism Initiative, which has secured major events such as the American Express World Championships 2002 and the European Cross Country Championships 2002, will be extended by a further two years till 2007.
The Irish Government has also greatly increased the Initiative's annual funding, which is now set at Euro 7.62 million per annum. Following Budget 2002, the International Sports Tourism Initiative, which is co-ordinated by Bord Fáilte - Irish Tourist Board has an overall total fund of Euro 45.72 million over the duration of the Initiative available to attract and support prestigious sporting events taking place in Ireland.
The International Sport Tourism Initiative was pioneered by Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation Dr. James McDaid TD in 2000. The Initiative targets International Sports Federations and Sports Events Organisers who decide the location for prestigious international sporting events. The initiative focuses on events, which will attract international publicity and coverage of Ireland as a premier tourist destination. The extension of the initiative follows a very successful 2001 with several major events brought to Ireland including: Laser World and Laser Master World Championships held in Crosshaven, Co Cork, FIA World Sportscar Championships at Mondello Park and the Quiksilver Masters World Championships held in Bundoran. Future events secured through the initiative include: World Cross Country Championships 2002, European Eventing Championships 2003 and the World Surfing Games 2004.