Tourist industry chiefs are encouraging the Executive to follow the lead of counterparts in the Republic by considering a 'pay to stay' scheme as an incentive to holiday at home, saying that nothing should be left off the table to ensure the survival of the industry.
The Irish Government announced its long-awaited financial plan yesterday, with a €7.4bn financial aid package to help stimulate the economy.
Under a staycation voucher scheme, consumers will be able to claim a tax refund of up to €125 when they spend €625 on accommodation, food or non-alcoholic drinks, although the policy is not expected to start until October.
It is now hoped that a similar plan will be considered here in Northern Ireland to give a much-needed boost to the tourism industry, which has been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
Restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, pubs, bars, hotels, museums and galleries across Northern Ireland all began welcoming customers back while abiding by social-distancing guidelines at the start of July.
But with the industry now almost entirely reliant on local trade, industry leaders are adamant that additional measures to boost the number of homegrown visitors are needed.
Janice Gault, CEO of the NI Hotels Federation, said any support shown to the hotels industry would be welcome.
She claimed that "2020 will be the year of the staycation, with hotels in Ireland, north and south, trying to attract visitors from the island.
"The summer season has been shortened and there are concerns about the viability of businesses over the autumn and into 2021," Ms Gault added.
She said that a number of countries, including France, had supported indigenous tourism with vouchers for the domestic visitor before the Irish announcement yesterday.
"The voucher scheme will supposedly start in September and will be an additional stimulus for the hotel sector south of the border," Ms Gault explained.
"There may be a series of additional stimuli in place in Northern Ireland, with a number of proposals under consideration at this time.
"Any support for the sector would be widely welcomed, with hotels keen to increase visitors numbers before the end of the year."
Ms Gault said that Northern Ireland's hoteliers had no option other than to concentrate on visitors from the island of Ireland in the short-term, but they hope that, as the pandemic subsides, visitors from Great Britain and further afield will return.
"Visitors on the island can travel easily by land and are content to do so," she said.
"Until leisure and business travel is given the green light, it is difficult to see how we can restore significant levels of business".
Joanne Stuart, CEO of the NI Tourism Alliance, said a voucher was one of a number of measures that had been talked about as a way of stimulating the sector in what remains of the year.
"We already have a number of businesses registered in the UK Government's Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which is running on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout August," she said.
That promotion gives people a discount of up to 50% when eating or drinking soft drinks in a participating restaurant or other food establishment.
Food and drink appears on the menu at full price, but the restaurant deducts the money off the bill and claim it back from the Government.
"While that will help, we have talked about other ways of stimulating business," said Ms Stuart.
The Department for the Economy did not respond for a request for comment.