Voucher schemes aimed at reviving tourism here could mean a £100 discount on a hotel stay and £20 off a visit to a tourist attraction.
John McGrillen, the boss of Tourism NI, said the organisation is aiming to launch the offers next month as funding of £2m must be spent by the end of March.
He hopes the schemes would boost tourism after its worst ever year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns.
Spending in the industry fell from £1bn in 2019 to £500m.
But even if the schemes are launched in the coming weeks, people will not be able to avail of them until after February 6, when the latest lockdown ends.
The schemes, while not yet confirmed, are expected to mean that a household will be able to claim £100 after a two-night hotel stay by applying online.
They will also be able to apply for £20 off their visit to a tourist attraction in Northern Ireland.
But unlike the UK government's Eat Out to Help Out scheme, in which families could avail of discounts on an unlimited number of meals, the new schemes will be limited to one accommodation voucher and one attraction voucher per household.
Mr McGrillen was speaking in a wide-ranging interview with the Belfast Telegraph.
A former board member of Tourism NI, he took up his post as CEO of Tourism NI in July 2015 and was previously director of development at Belfast City Council. Previously he was chief executive of Down District Council.
Mr McGrillen said the industry had fared well over the summer following the reopening of the economy. A campaign to draw visitors from the Republic had worked well - with one in five southern residents visiting the region for the day, and one in 10 spending a night here.
He said he hoped to see recovery in the industry by 2024 at the latest, and that a Game of Thrones tourist attraction in Banbridge would be a major draw - and as big and successful as the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour in London.
He said he believed tourism in Northern Ireland would see a "significant turn" towards recovery in six months' time.
"We'll begin to see the start of the rebound in the springtime. From our perspective, for the industry it's just been an incredibly difficult year," he added.
"It's been very difficult for us to plan as to how we would support the industry.
"If you'd been asking me in June or July, we would have been saying, we're now on a path to recovery, things have opened up and our campaigns have gone well in the domestic market and we've had good visitor numbers from the Republic of Ireland.
"Since the second wave came along everything started to move into reverse and we haven't really gotten out of that reverse gear."
He said the decision to have a further lockdown from today (Boxing Day) was "probably the right one".
But he added: "I'd like to think that in six to eight weeks' time, if we have managed to suppress the virus, and the more vulnerable people in society managing to get vaccinated, I think we will hopefully see a mood swing.
"My expectation is at the end of that, people will want a break."
Mr McGrillen said the industry will need further support. It has received a rates holiday of one year, the furlough scheme, grant support and a VAT reduction on hospitality from the usual rate of 20% to 5%.
"I would think that we would need to see an extension of the VAT reduction to 5%, and have that continuing into next year beyond March 31," he added.
"I also think the Executive needs to think about leaving the rates holiday in place in order to allow people to find their feet."
He said that the industry was predicting job losses of between 28,000 and 31,000 as a result of the pandemic, but hopes the jobs would be recovered following a revival in the sector.
One of the big tactics is the voucher schemes, which would be aimed at residents of Northern Ireland only.
Mr McGrillen added: "We had hoped to launch those long before now but if the properties aren't open and the consumer sentiment is such that people aren't booking at this point, we felt it best to postpone them.
"Hopefully some time in January we would launch both of those schemes.
"What we're looking at potentially is a £100 reduction on a two-night stay in accommodation - overall a 50% reduction up to £100 per room.
"And the scheme for the attractions would be closer to £20, given the nature of that business."
He said the accommodation voucher could be claimed online before a hotel stay but would not be redeemed until afterwards.
You pay your bill in full, take a photograph of the bill and then redeem the voucher.
"Once you show proof that your voucher has been used, we will make a payment into your bank account.
"We have a certain amount of money which has to be spent by March 31 so we need to manage all of this so that it's as easily utilised as possible but we don't leave ourselves at risk of any fraudulent activity.
"Between the two schemes we had made a bid for £2m and that has been given to us so the hope would be that we would be able to utilise all of that before the end of March.
"Obviously the longer the lockdown lasts, it will be harder to make that happen."
Mr McGrillen said Tourism NI had considered other options for the scheme.
At one point there were reports that vouchers would be printed in newspapers.
"We had looked at different options at the outset but the simplest way is for people to go online and for people to register for a voucher and we can track and trace it from there.
"But you won't be able to use it to book online through Booking.com. You'll have to engage directly with the industry."
While he said its campaign earlier this year to draw visitors from the Republic had been a success, he was concerned about the level of Tourism NI's budget - compared to its counterpart in the Republic.
Failte Ireland markets the Republic to visitors living in its own territory and visitors from NI.
Tourism NI aims to attract visitors from the Republic to Northern Ireland, as well as encouraging people here to holiday at home.
"I think there will be a significant effort made by our colleagues in Failte Ireland to secure as much business from the south as well as the north of Ireland," he added.
Mr McGrillen said that tourism spending had been down by around 50% this year but that spending could pick up to around 60% of 2019's £1bn spend during 2021.
"We would like to think that by 2022, we would be back to about 80% of where we were in 2019," he added.
"We would like to think we will be back to where we were in 2019 by 2023 or 2024 at the latest."
Mr McGrillen praised businesspeople in tourism for coping with the challenges of 2020. And he believes that in the longer-term, people would embrace travel and new experiences again - and would gravitate towards smaller cities like Belfast instead of more crowded capitals around the world.
He added: "People are going to be looking to open spaces and less crowded cities.
"They will no longer want to be crammed into places as people's mindsets have changed."