KERRY Airport has been told it can benefit from a new marketing fund launched by the government.
Transport Minister, Paschal Donohoe, has announced the ring-fencing of a €1 million fund for co-operative marketing of regional airports and ports.
MEP Deirdre Clune said the fund could be a way to attract new routes, new tourists and more exposure for Kerry tourism.
The Department of Transport will be asking the airport to submit proposals, through Tourism Ireland, for the funding.
Financial support will be allocated based on those services offering the best inbound tourism potential with the advertising activity likely to take place in the latter part of 2015 and the early months of 2016.
“Tourism is supporting 205,000 Irish jobs but there is scope and potential to create more, said Ms Clune who has called for a separate air connectivity fund to offer start-up aid to specified key routes for secondary airports.
“A recent report by the European Parliament singled out Ireland and Finland as two countries that recorded lower passenger numbers in 2013 than in 2004 in our secondary airports, bucking an overall EU growth in passenger numbers to secondary airports during this time,” she pointed out.
The MEP said there is a need to protect and invest in Kerry Airport to ensure it can grow passenger numbers in the same way that Dublin has.
“I think this one million euro fund is a good start but it’s something we need to build on in the coming years so that we can develop our regional airports and attract more routes,” she said.