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We must develop walking tourism

I refer to the proposals to cut funding for the Department of the Environment which is resulting in cuts to inter alia the Mourne Heritage Trust and Belfast Hills Partnership.

Hillwalking and long distance trails result in major tourist revenues in other parts of the UK. However, in Northern Ireland walking tourism and its revenues from tourists has still a long way to go to reach its potential.

Government also has all but abandoned support for the Ulster Way. This is the only long distance walk in Northern Ireland and again this shows lack of strategic direction and thinking on the potential of walking tourism.

We implore the relevant authorities to urgently rethink funding cuts in this area and its outdoor walking and tourism strategy.

DAVID FLINN

Ulster Federation of Rambling Clubs

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