A new initiative aimed at boosting the flagging domestic tourism sector has been launched in Dublin.

Details of the Fáilte Ireland coordinated initiative, to encourage people to holiday at home, were announced by the Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, and the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Martin Cullen today.

A special Discover Ireland supplement for September and October has been produced, containing a ‘cheque’ worth €50 which will be accepted by selected tourist venues around Ireland.

Some 750,000 copies of the supplement are to be distributed from Fáilte Ireland's information offices and in local and national newspapers from next weekend, making the total value of cheques available €37.5m.

The initiative has been funded by members of the tourism industry.

Fáilte Ireland says the domestic market is now worth over €1 billion a year, and holidaying at home will help sustain jobs in the face of difficult trading conditions.