31/10/2002

Mary Peters launches scheme for walkers and cyclists

Dame Mary Peters, Deputy Chairman of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB), has launched a new accommodation guide specifically aimed at providing a warm welcome for walkers and cyclists in Northern Ireland.

Speaking at the launch of the NITB’s 'Walkers and Cyclists Accommodation Guide' in the White Horse Hotel, Londonderry, Dame Mary talked of the increasing popularity of walking and cycling and stressed the importance of recognising and catering to the specific needs of visitors who wished to participate in these activities.

She said: “The joy of looking forward to a warm welcome and a hot bath after walking up mountains or cycling down hills is no doubt the best way to sample Northern Ireland hospitality.

"The introduction of this voluntary ‘Welcome Scheme’ specifically dedicated to walkers and cyclists is a great means of enhancing business within the accommodation sector by encouraging visitors to stay overnight in Northern Ireland.”

A total of 250 accommodation providers are currently participating in the scheme which includes hotels, guest houses, B&Bs, hostels and self catering accommodation. The new 'Walkers & Cyclists Accommodation Guide' aims to provide accommodation that will meet their specific needs and that the overall walking or cycling holiday will have added value in the opportunity to relax in welcoming surroundings.

An average 57,000 people per year participate in a walking activity while approximately 7,000 take part in cycling activities.

(MB)

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