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Minister Shatter launches social tourism programme between Ireland and Mexico

During his official visit to Mexico, as part of the St. Patrick's Day Promote Ireland Programme, Minister Alan Shatter TD, together with the Federal Under Secretary for Tourism, Mr Francisco Maass, officially launched the Ireland Mexico Social Tourism Programme. This Programme supports federal employees in Mexico to travel abroad and Ireland has been selected as the first partner country for the Programme.

Turissste, part of the Mexican Social Security Agency (IMSS) together with Abbey Tourism and Mexican travel company, SCI Viajes, have established the Programme to promote social tourism to Ireland. This arrangement was substantially supported and facilitated by the engagement of our Ambassador in Mexico, Ms Sonja Hyland and Mexico’s Ambassador in Ireland, Mr Carlos Garcia de Alba.

Speaking from Mexico, the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter TD, said, “I am very proud that Ireland has been accepted as the first partner country by Turissste. Under this Programme, two million federal employees in Mexico will be supported in travelling abroad for social tourism. The Mexican people do not need a visa to travel to Ireland, which is a major advantage in attracting Mexican visitors to Ireland. I hope as a result of the signing of this agreement we will see in the coming years a substantial number of tourists from Mexico visiting Ireland.

“Abbey Tours, one of Ireland’s oldest and most experienced travel agents will promote this package in Ireland and I have no doubt they will offer an excellent service to its clients. The activities included in the Programme aim to promote social inclusion and the development of communities. This is an ideal that is absolutely worth supporting, together with opportunities to enjoy the rich cultural heritage Ireland has to offer.

“Ireland’s tourism industry is one of the foundations of our economy. We want to build on the progress made in the tourism sector last year and we are very committed to reaching new markets such as Mexico. I am extremely impressed by the potential to reach two million eligible members of the Turissste Programme.”

At his meeting with the Mexican Foreign Minister, Mr José Antonio Meade, Minister Shatter discussed with Minister Meade this important agreement and a further deepening of economic and commercial relationships between Ireland and Mexico. Both Ministers welcomed the launching of the Ireland Mexico Social Tourism Programme and looked forward to the forthcoming Ireland Mexico business conference being held in Dublin on the 1-2 May under the auspices of the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Oisín Quinn. Minister Shatter congratulated all of the agencies and individuals involved, including the Irish and Mexican Ambassadors, in the work which led to the conclusion of this important tourism agreement.

20 March 2014


Notes for Editor:

Turissste, part of the Mexican Social Security Agency (IMSS) has launched together with Abbey Tourism and Mexican travel company, SCI Viajes, a programme promoting social tourism to Ireland

This agency will provide up to $2,300 USD in credit to enable federal employees to travel to designated partner countries. Ireland has been selected as the first partner country for the programme. Up to two million people are eligible to participate in this programme.

A Mexican travel company SCI Viajes, specialists in holidays to Ireland, and its Director Alma Martinez, organised the programme in conjunction with Juan Carlos Arnau, Director of Turissste. Abbey Tours and a Mexican travel agency, Vakaciona, are providing the packages. The first group departs from Mexico on 27 April.

The social tourism programme offers community and voluntary work, together with cultural and artistic elements. There is also an optional English language learning add on. People from Mexico do not need a visa to holiday in Ireland.