The Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has announced Ireland's first formal visa waiver programme as part of the job creation initiative.

Details of a holiday and a short-stay Visa Waiver Programme have been announced in the Dáil.

From July, tourists from 14 nations, that up until now required a visa to holiday in Ireland, will not need one as long as they hold a visa to enter Britain.

The change to Ireland's visa regulations will encourage tourists visiting Britain for the Olympics next year to travel on to Ireland.

The programme will last from July 2011 until October 2012. It will be reviewed and more countries may be added to the list.

Some of the countries that will be able to avail of the waiver from July include: Russia, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, India, China and Uzbekistan.

Minister Shatter said there were 30,000 visitors from these countries to Ireland last year and so the measure provides for substantial growth in tourist numbers.

Currently tourists must fill out forms and this will avoid delays and costs.

Minister Shatter said the visa waiver scheme alone would not transform the tourist industry in Ireland.

Work on the scheme follows intensive consultation by the Department with tourism industry representatives.

The Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) has welcomed the decision by the Government to introduce a visa waiver scheme for travellers with a UK visa who wish to visit Ireland.

It states that, by eliminating the difficulty and expense associated with a separate Irish visa application, the programme offers a welcome marketing opportunity to attract visitors from important emerging markets planning to visit the UK.