Northern Ireland expects two million tourists in 2016
Two million tourists are expected to make their way to Northern Ireland next year, Enterprise Minister Jonathan Bell said yesterday.
Tourism Ireland, the body responsible for attracting tourists to the island of Ireland, has said it will strive for an increase of four per cent in overseas visitors and a five per cent increase in tourism revenue in 2016.
At the launch of its 2016 strategy, representatives of Tourism Ireland said the organisation aimed to build on this year's performance and unveiled plans to attract more two million visitors here next year. It is hoped that the drive will generate a total of £476m in tourist spending, an increase of five per cent on this year.
Tourism Ireland chief Niall Gibbons explained that increasing visitors' length of stay was a key strategy to increasing the revenue brought in.
He said that new attractions, including The Gobbins coastal path, would offer better value for money for tourists and would also encourage them to stay longer. Research by the body has shown that, on average, Australian visitors were likely to stay for 14 days compared to US visitors who stay for an average of nine days and British visitors who stay for four days.
Mr Bell attributed new direct flight routes and stronger economies in key source markets for Northern Ireland's growing tourism industry.
An advert showcasing The Gobbins cliff path will be shown across the world in January.