Belfast Telegraph

Foster outlines plan to double tourism revenue

By Brénna Walsh

Tourism Minister Arlene Foster has launched an ambitious strategy that aims to double the income earned from tourism to Northern Ireland within 10 years.

The Minister launched the public consultation on the ‘Draft Tourism Strategy for Northern Ireland to 2020’ in Belfast yesterday.

Arlene Foster said: “Tourism is a key driver of our economy.

“It supports over 40,000 jobs, brings new facilities to our towns and cities, creates opportunities in rural areas and is a source of pride for the people of Northern Ireland. The draft strategy is ambitious in its aim to double the income earned from tourism by 2020.

“This will be achieved by increasing visitors from 3.2 million to 4.5 million by 2020 and by increasing earnings from tourism from £536mto £1bn by 2020.

“These stretching targets can only be realised if we focus on making it easier for visitors to spend money, increase quality at every level and widen the range of opportunities available.”

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) said that the targets for tourism would be achieved by progressively accelerating spend by visitors, targeting specific markets and market segments and supporting growth of indigenous high quality businesses.

Last year, DETI and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board established a Strategy Development Steering Group to oversee tourism in Northern Ireland and to provide a clear vision and an action plan for the development of Northern Ireland’s tourism through to the year 2020.

The minister added: “The Executive is fully committed to the success of tourism, but tourism is everyone’s business and we need a common approach that involves other government departments, local authorities and the private sector.

“I want to ensure that the proposals are appropriate for Northern Ireland and I therefore encourage all stakeholders to consider the consultation and contribute to developing Northern Ireland’s future tourism policy.”

The consultation is open until May 20.

Belfast Telegraph

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