Our history

Our history

The roots of tourism in Ireland run deep, back to the beginning of the 20th century when an Irish Tourism Association was first established. The Irish Tourism Association later became Fógra Fáilte in 1952. In 1955, Bord Fáilte Eireann  was established under the Tourist Traffic Act to develop and promote tourism in the Republic of Ireland, both at home and abroad.

As tourism in Ireland developed, CERT (the Council for Education, Recruitment and Training) was established in 1963 to provide education, recruitment and training services for the tourism and hospitality industry. Subsequently, CERT’s role broadened to include the development of the wider business capabilities of Irish tourism businesses.

Regional tourism organisations

During the 1960s, eight regional tourism organisations (RTOs), later renamed regional tourism authorities (RTAs), were established in Dublin, Ireland East, South East, South West (Cork/Kerry), Shannonside, West, North West, and Midlands (Lakelands).

These eight RTOs were reduced to six in the 1980s after the Shannonside RTO was adopted by Shannon Development (SFADCO) and Dublin Tourism and Ireland East merged to become Dublin & East RTO.
In the early 1990s, Dublin & East RTO separated and Dublin Tourism reverted to its original structure. Ireland East then merged with Midlands to become Midlands & East. Around this time the word “organisation” was replaced by the word “authority.“ Thus, RTOs became RTAs.

Establishment of Tourism Ireland

In 1998, as part of the Good Friday Agreement, tourism was identified as an area of cooperation and Tourism Ireland Ltd. was established to manage the promotion of tourism for the island of Ireland in 2002, a function previously managed by Bórd Fáilte Éireann in the Republic of Ireland and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board in Northern Ireland.

Bórd Fáilte retained responsibility for developing Ireland’s tourism industry and marketing Ireland to the domestic market and the six regional tourism authorities – Dublin, South East, South West, West, North West, and East & Midlands.

Fáilte Ireland

Fáilte Ireland was formed in May 2003 under the National Tourism Development Authority Act as Ireland’s national tourism development authority, responsible for supporting Ireland’s tourism industry and sustaining Ireland as a high-quality and competitive tourism destination.
As part of this, Bórd Fáilte Éireann merged with CERT in order to increase the focus on achieving a cohesive tourism strategy for Ireland to ensure a strong and sustainable tourism industry.

In 2012, Dublin Tourism merged with Fáilte Ireland.