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Tourism to create jobs boom

By David Elliott

An expected surge in the growth of hospitality and tourism in Northern Ireland means 20,000 extra jobs will be created in the sector over the next seven years, according to new research.

People 1st, the skills council for hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism, also said that 4,300 of those will be employed in management and "senior official" roles.

Its 2013 State of the Nation report said that while the sector decreased in size between 2010 and 2011, heavy investment and a number of world-class events here will drive tourism over the next few years.

Roisin McKee, director of People 1st Northern Ireland, said: "While a significant amount of work has been done to improve skills, especially around customer service, this area remains a priority. Customer service is identified as a key differentiator for businesses in the future, yet 63% of employers said that these skills are lacking."

The report also showed that staff turnover rates in Northern Ireland's tourism and hospitality industry stands at just 16%, down on the 35% recorded in 2009 and below the UK average of 20%.

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