31/08/2021

New Development Programme Announced For NI Tourism Recovery

A new website development programme has been announced as part of a drive to support the recovery and growth of Northern Ireland's tourism sector.

With capital grants available of up to £40,000, the programme is designed to help existing tourism experience providers enhance their websites as well as market and sell their services online.

Following an Expression of Interest (EOI) process, eligible applicants will work with a subject expert to undertake a digital audit of their business.

Commenting on the launch, Economy Minister Gordon Lyons said: "The majority of visitors to Northern Ireland like to book their arrangements independently. The recent pandemic has resulted in a transformed demand, with a desire to visit and book differently. While online promotion and bookability was increasingly becoming a prerequisite prior to the pandemic, it is now an essential requirement of doing business in the tourism industry.

"The Website Development Programme is open to tourism experience providers and attractions and will help to provide technical advice to enhance websites and produce a website development plan. The fund also allows for up to 80% funding towards eligible costs of implementing those plans with the maximum amount of grant funding available for any one project of £40,000."

Rural Development Minister Edwin Poots added: "Tourism is one of the most important economic sectors for Northern Ireland, providing jobs and livelihoods in rural areas, which prove popular destinations for travellers.
News Image
"This is why it is important to ensure that our tourism businesses have a strong website presence that provides greater market reach, attracts potential visitors and generates online bookings and sales. I hope the funding from my Department will help build confidence within the tourism sector to enable it to grow back stronger and better with sustainability at its core."

Commenting on the programme, Tourism NI's Director of Strategic Development, David Roberts said: "We are delighted to open the programme again at a critical period for many tourism businesses across Northern Ireland. Visitors use online platforms and resources extensively in planning where to travel to and also during their visit. The programme will help create positive first impressions and an improved booking experience, in line with the Northern Ireland 'Embrace A Giant Spirit' experience brand.

"We welcome applications from eligible businesses that want to enhance their digital presence as well as support the recovery and growth of the sector."

The Website Development Programme will be operated on a Northern Ireland wide basis through funding provided to Tourism NI from the Department for the Economy (DfE) and Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) through its Rural Development Programme.

For full details of eligibility criteria and how to apply for the scheme are available at the Website Development Programme 2021-2022 page of the Tourism NI website.

Closing date for applications is 8th September at 3.00pm.

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

06 October 2021
Health Minister Welcomes Progress On Adoption And Children Bill
Health Minister Robin Swann has welcomed the progress of the Adoption and Children Bill. The Bill will modernise the legal framework for adoption in Northern Ireland and improve outcomes for children and families in need, children in care and those who have left care.
06 October 2021
DUP Welcomes 'Constructive' Meeting On NI Protocol
DUP Leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has described a meeting with Brexit Secretary Lord Frost and the EU Ambassador to the UK Joao Vale de Almeida on the Northern Ireland Protocol as "constructive ". Speaking after the meeting Sir Jeffrey said: "The Government recognise the conditions exist for Article 16 to be triggered.
14 November 2008
All-Ireland Tourism Showcases In London
Tourism Ministers from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland supported local tourism at the industry's largest trade exhibition, in London, this week.
27 January 2010
Tourism Matters In Focus
Whether it is 'flying your kite' surfing off Benone, (pictured) or enjoying cultural tourism in west Belfast, the way tourism is marketed has been in focus this week. Both an advance - and a more backward step - in tourism matters were highlighted yesterday as two politicians spoke out on making the most of visitor numbers.
01 October 2008
Accolades For Selling Tourist Ireland Abroad
The hard work of those who market Ireland as a tourist destination abroad has been recognised. Tourism Ministers from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland joined forces for the inaugural, 'Ambassadors for Tourism Awards' earlier this week.