Belfast Telegraph

New identity allows Pubs of Ulster to broaden their public perception

Local pubs are set to reinforce their contribution to the hospitality, leisure, and tourism sector by uniting under a new trade body identity.

The Federation of the Retail Licensed Trade (FRLT) has announced that from today it will become known as Pubs of Ulster.

Colin Neill, chief executive of the organisation, said: "The rebrand of the organisation as Pubs of Ulster is the first step in more effectively communicating the industry's role in the hospitality, leisure, and tourism sector.

"We believe this is an important move to broaden the perception of the licensed trade beyond more than just a focus on alcohol and to achieve an improved respect and recognition of the vital role that the pub trade plays in delivering significant economic contributions and a unique customer experience locally."

The licensed trade employs over 35,000 people in Northern Ireland and contributes an estimated £1bn to the local economy each year. The sector also plays a significant role in delivering a quality visitor experience to tourists with the latest statistics from the Northern Ireland Tourist Board highlighting that 80% of visitors go to a pub and 70% eat in a pub during their stay here.

Sorcha Wolsey, chair of Pubs of Ulster added: "Despite the challenges presented by the economic downturn, the industry has plenty to be proud of, and continues to play an important role as the backbone of many local communities, contributing significantly to our heritage and culture. This should be recognised and celebrated, and in the coming months we will be using the momentum behind the launch of our new identity to host our new look Pub of the Year Awards."

With a membership in excess of 1,000, Pubs of Ulster represents over 70%of the industry in Northern Ireland.

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