The National Tourism Development Authority formerly An Bord Failte, The Tourism Board is the regulator and promoter of tourism and the hospitality industry.
In 2003, the National Tourism Development Authority took over the functions of Bord Failte and certain other associated tourism promotion companies. The Authority has delegated services to a subsidiary company. They also contract certain functions to an authorised contractor which has powers of an officer in respect of inspection and enforcement
The Authority is appointed by the Minister. The state may make grants from public funds to the Authority. The Authority pay monies as it considers appropriate to state authorities, local authorities and others. The Authority may participate in schemes and administer schemes in which European Union funds may be available.
The Authority / Board establishes and maintains the following
- register of hotels,
- register of guesthouses
- register of holiday hostels
- register of youth hostels
- register of holiday camps.
- register of motor hotels
- register of caravan sites and camping sites
- register of approved holiday cottages
- registered of approved holiday apartments.
The register includes details of
- the owner of the premises
- name of the premises and
- such other particulars as may be prescribed
Premises are registered on one register only.
The Authority prescribes by regulations.
- general character
- type of accommodation and service
- other qualifications required in respect of the premises
so that it is eligible to register in the relevant respective register.
The application for registration must contain prescribed details, fees and must be accompanied by a statement in the prescribed form of the charges which the applicant proposes to make for the rooms, meals or services in the following period.
The Board/Authority causes premises to be inspected for the purpose of ascertaining whether they are appropriate to register. Where not eligible for registration, the Board serves notice of the applicant. The applicant may make representations to the Board within 14 days with a view to showing that the premises are eligible. If representations are received the Boars shall cause a second inspection to be made by a different officer.
Registration is generally annual for the calendar year. It may be renewed from time to time. Generally, the application is before 15th October in the calendar year preceding. The Board renews registration unless it is of the view that the premises has ceased to be eligible.
The Board may have appointed independent contractors to undertake registration and inspection functions. They have much the same powers as officers of the Board.
A registration certificate is issued by the Board. A replacement certificate may be obtained if it is destroyed. The certificate is in the prescribed form and is signed on behalf of the Board. It is an offence to fail to display the certificate.
The Board may of its own accord amend registration of the premises, it is erroneous or misleading.
A premises may not be described as hotel unless registered as such. It is an offence to do so. A premises may not be described as a guesthouse unless so registered. It is an offence to do so.
Similar provisions apply in respect of holiday hostels, youth hostels, holiday camps motor hotels etc. unless y registered in the relevant register. There is provision for application to the Circuit Court to prohibit contravention
The Board may exempt premises operated by a charitable organisation from the requirement for registration.
The Authority may grade premises in a register. Grading may be withdrawn or varied.
Upon a transfer or a person’s death the transferee or successor is entitled to be registered in the registers in succession. Similar provisions apply to receivers, managers and mortgagees.
The Board’s officers may inspect premises at all reasonable times by producing evidence of their appointment. They may require information as is reasonably necessary for the administration of the Act. Obstruction, impeding failure to cooperate or fresh information or furnishing misleading information to an officer is an offence. The registration officer is appointed by the Board in writing and is given identification to prove his appointment.
The Board may require registered proprietors to display prices as it thinks proper in legible form in respect of rooms, meals or services provided at a premises. Failure to do so when the obligation arises is an offence.
The Board may supply owners of premises with signs suitable for the outside of the premises and the proprietor must keep the signs displayed tin a prominent position near the entrance. The failure to do so is an offence.
The Board must publish a list of registered premises showing separately each category and information in respect of premises, including
other matters of interest to tourists.
The Minister may declare any area to be a special area. He may authorise the Board to keep in respect of such area, such registers as may be appropriate, including those in relation to
- camping sites,
- boarding-houses and other forms of residential accommodation,
- cafés, theatres, entertainment premises,
- local transport premises.
Powers may be conferred on the Board
- for the preservation of amenities
- in relation to the provisions for the control and licensing of guides, beach guards, and attendants at parks
- confer powers in relation to the preservation of amenities.
The Minister makes the order under the legislation. Orders may be revoked.
The Authority may provide means of access and erect notices at a historic building site, shrine or another place that is likely to be of interest to the public. The Authority may acquire it, if the owner refuses to permit the Board to carry out the relevant works. The powers are not exercisable in respect of a national monument or an ecclesiastical building
The Board may serve notice in relation to a premises if in its opinion, it has ceased to qualify. The person affected may make representations within 14 days. The Board may cancel registration if the proprietor has failed to exhibit the charges required.
The Tourist Traffic legislation provides for registration of holiday camps. There are special liquor licensing provisions which facilitate the grant of an on licence for a holiday camp notwithstanding general restrictions that may otherwise operate. The bulk of the restrictions that formally operated have now been lifted. Occasional and special exemptions may be granted in respect of premises licensed in this way.
The Board has power to publish a list of premises which provide accommodation for tourists s, but which are not registered with the Board. It may include a list of charges. A premises may only be included in the list with the consent of the proprietor. No information may be given other than with the consent of the proprietor.
The Circuit Court may prohibit by the unauthorised use of titles protected by the Tourist Traffic Act.