19/04/2012

It's Time To Put NI On Global Tourism Map

2012 is Northern Ireland’s time to shine and emerge as an international must-see tourism destination, according to Howard Hastings, chairman of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB).

Speaking at a NITB briefing event in Dublin to update on its 'ni2012: Your Time Our Place' campaign, Mr Hastings urged people throughout Ireland to head north and play their part in making this a year to remember for Northern Ireland.

"This really is our time and our place to change global perceptions of Northern Ireland and put ourselves firmly on the global tourism map," said Hastings.

"With so many outstanding events, celebrations, commemorations and capital projects coming to completion, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to raise the profile of Northern Ireland as a must see destination which will drive visitor numbers from all over the world, not just to Northern Ireland but to the Republic of Ireland as well," he added.

"There are undoubtedly significant spin-off tourism benefits for the whole of Ireland as many visitors to Northern Ireland also visit the Republic, hopefully driving the economy and hopefully creating jobs across the island.

"With this in mind, we would encourage everyone to pencil in a visit to Northern Ireland during 2012 and play a part in making this a real year to remember. The Republic of Ireland is a huge market for us with record numbers visiting Northern Ireland in recent years and we’re very excited about sharing our brand new attractions and events with visitors from all over Ireland,” concluded Howard.

NITB’s new £2 million marketing campaign, spearheaded by an up-tempo new TV ad highlighting the exciting year ahead, was launched across Ireland two weeks ago and is already proving a big success, according to the Board’s market manager (ROI) Fiona Cunningham.

Almost £300 million has been invested in the tourism infrastructure in Northern Ireland during the last three years, including the £97million Titanic Belfast attraction, as well as the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre, the Ulster Museum, the MAC, the Lyric Theatre and many others.

Over 100 tourism-related capital projects, from the Mournes to the Glens and right across Northern Ireland, have been supported by NITB, through the Tourism Development Scheme.

(LB)

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