This has been a tough year in so many ways, but there are signs of light emerging from the darkness.
A good example of this is the announcement from the Northern Ireland tourist chief John McGrillen of measures to help boost the industry from the new year.
He has given details of two voucher-schemes enabling the public to receive £100 off a two-night hotel stay, and £20 off a visit to a tourist attraction.
People living in Northern Ireland can claim their £100 after their hotel stay by applying online.
It is no surprise Mr McGrillen underlined how much the tourist industry here has suffered due to the all-embracing effects of the pandemic, and he emphasised that this has been the worst-year ever for tourism.
Northern Ireland tourist numbers also suffered greatly during the worst of the Troubles, but the irony is that when the industry here was beginning to really get on its feet with imaginative marketing and excellent attractions, Covid-19 cut the feet from under it.
However there have been some consolations. Mr McGrillen revealed that a special campaign to attract visitors from the Republic to Northern Ireland had worked well, with one in five coming from across the border, and one in 10 spending a night here.
The economic dimension of this is important, but this is not just a question of money.
The more people from the Republic come to Northern Ireland the more they can learn about the beauty of this place, and bring that message home so that more of their friends and neighbours may choose to visit us.
One of the great problems has been that during the long years of the Troubles, Northern Ireland was regarded by others on this island as "a place apart".
Happily there have been enormous changes for the better, and cars with Southern registrations and people with all sorts of accents from around this island have been made very welcome.
Mr McGrillen has rightly expressed his hopes for a recovery in the medium-term and has underlined future projects including the Game of Thrones tourist attraction being based in Banbridge.
Add to this the wonderful Titanic centre, the glories of the North Coast and many other places, and the humour and friendliness of the Ulster people, and we have a recipe for much better tourist numbers in the days ahead.