Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Irish minister's common travel zone call for UK and Ireland

An Irish government minister has called for the UK and Ireland to become a common travel zone like parts of mainland Europe.

Transport Minister Leo Varadkar said tourists and business visitors from far flung destinations should not be forced to source one set of travel papers for the UK and a second set to cross the border to the Irish Republic.

“This means that there are real opportunities to attract more high-value, high-spending visitors from rapidly growing economies like Brazil, India, China and Russia to both Britain and Ireland,” he said.

In Ireland a visa waiver for UK visitors has been extended until the end of October 2016 which allows long-haul travellers to pass in to Ireland without additional travel documents.

“It makes no sense to me that a tourist flying into Dublin from Dubai needs a separate visa to travel to the Titanic Experience in Belfast and to see the Giants Causeway. And it makes even less sense to the tourist,” he added.

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