20 years after being assaulted in Ireland as a 17-year-old Italian student, Guido Nasi, meets President Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin, at a special event to mark the 25th anniversary of the Irish Tourist Assistance Service, (ITAS).
The Irish Tourist Assistance Service, set up in 1994, provides immediate support and assistance to international visitors who experience crime and other traumatic incidents while visiting Ireland, assisted Mr. Nasi and his mother Simonetta, after his assault in 1999. Bernadette Kelly, ITAS volunteer, who provided essential support in the aftermath of the assault and is now a firm friend of the family also attended the event as well as Simonetta Nasi.
Ms. Lisa Kennedy, CEO said “ITAS is the only dedicated national service in Europe offering specialist support to tourists who experience crime while holidaying in our country. Our aim is to provide comprehensive support and assistance to tourists and their families in order to make their situation more positive and restore their perception of the country and its people. We are delighted that Guido and Simonetta were able to join us to meet the President. After what has happened to Guido, it’s amazing to see his positivity and his genuine affection for Ireland and for all those who have helped him”.
Over 17,000 tourists from 110 countries around the world have been assisted by the service since the operation began in 1994, with 9 out of 10 tourists on average continuing their holiday after ITAS intervention. Over 90% of the crimes perpetrated against tourists accessing support from the service are theft related.
President Higgins has consistently sought to support and promote tourism, business and personal links between Irish people, Irish companies and their counterparts abroad, and he hosted the event at Áras an Uachtaráin to pay tribute to ITAS for its essential services.
Lisa Kennedy, continued, “We are delighted that the President held this event for us. From ITAS’ perspective it’s a positive reinforcement of the critical role which the service plays in protecting the reputation of Ireland’s tourism offering”.
Click the link below for The Irish Times article & video:
Click the link below for the RTÉ coverage of the event: