Belfast Telegraph

Sky's the limit for Northern Ireland tourism: Drone shoots images of our iconic sites to entice visitors

By Allan Preston

Tourism Ireland has showcased some of Northern Ireland's most iconic landmarks with spectacular drone footage.

As part of an online film entitled Ten Amazing Places in Northern Ireland, drones captured images of scenic locations to give potential tourists a stunning bird's-eye view of the beautiful local landscape.

Among the spots featured are the Mourne Mountains, the Sperrins, Lough Erne and more, as well as must-see Game of Thrones filming locations such as the Dark Hedges.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: "Northern Ireland is packed with natural and historic gems, and the availability of drones has allowed us to showcase these places in a way that hasn't been done before.

"Our latest film features stunning aerial footage showing Northern Ireland at its very best, which will help entice prospective visitors everywhere to come and holiday here this year."

With Tourism Ireland's backing, it is hoped the film will be seen on social media by millions of potential visitors.

The organisation's Facebook page alone has 3.6 million fans worldwide. It also has 346,000 followers on Twitter.

Attracting visitors from the Republic will be one of the highest priorities after it was suggested Northern Ireland was suffering from an image problem in the South. Last month, figures from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency showed that the number of overnight visitors from the Republic had slumped by 18% in 2015.

Head of Tourism Northern Ireland John McGrillen said dissident violence and the chaotic scenes of the 2012 flag protests had become a problem.

"I don't think that you can underestimate the ramifications of civil unrest on our nearest market, but you can't look back and we have to look to the future," he added.

Tourism Ireland has now set up a taskforce to address the issue.

Despite the recent drop in visitors from the Republic, in 2015 alone Northern Ireland attracted 1.9 million overseas visitor,s delivering revenue of around £454m. The boost accounted for more than 5.2% of the GDP in Northern Ireland and supported approximately 43,000 jobs.

Belfast Telegraph

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