Foster Calls For 2013 Tourism Boost

Arlene Foster has said it is important Northern Ireland "stands out from the crowd" to take advantage of opportunities to boost tourism in 2013.

The Tourism Minister was speaking in London at the World Travel Market (WTM) to begin the tourism drive for next year.

"2012 has been a spectacular year for tourism in Northern Ireland with much more to come next year," she said.

"Titanic Belfast, the Irish Open, the inaugural Beckett Festival in Fermanagh and a new visitors’ centre at the Giant’s Causeway are just a few of the remarkable highlights of a year to remember."

The Minister added: "Next year promises to be just as exciting. Londonderry is preparing to become the UK City of Culture and is set to roll out a wonderful programme of events, and Belfast will host the World Police and Fire Games.

"The next 12 months will provide more opportunities to put Northern Ireland in the global spotlight for all the right reasons, giving tourists from GB and across the world even more reasons to want to come and visit."

She said it was important for Northern Ireland’s Tourism to be represented at the WFM event.

"World Travel Market attracts almost 50,000 representatives of the industry from around the globe and business worth around £1.6bn was transacted at the event last year," the Minister said.

"It is only right, therefore, that Northern Ireland’s tourism offering is put front and centre at the event, particularly with Londonderry being the UK City of Culture in 2013."

Nine tourism enterprises from Northern Ireland, including Culture Company 2013, hotels, visitor attractions, a ferry company and regional tourism organisations were exhibiting at the Tourism Ireland stand.

Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: "The strong representation of our Northern Ireland industry partners on the Tourism Ireland stand at WTM this year is extremely welcome and essential in the highly competitive global marketplace."


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