Tourism NI today hosted a live online event to update on progress against the Tourism Recovery Action Plan, six months after its launch.
Entitled Tourism in Action, and hosted by TV presenter Jo Scott, the event covered the Plan’s eight themes aimed at supporting the tourism business base, stimulating consumer demand and bringing much needed business through the doors of visitor attractions, hotels and hospitality venues.
Tourism NI’s heavyweight marketing campaigns over the last eighteen months have brought a buoyant staycation market and many new visitors from the Republic of Ireland.
Tourism Recovery Action Plan
The We’re Good to Go initiative has also been central to instilling public confidence in tourism facilities and, more recently, a wide range of support schemes have included the Kick Start Programme, a Market Led Product Development Scheme in partnership with Councils and a Business and Financial Planning programme to support tourism SMEs and larger businesses.
Working in partnership with Tourism Ireland, Tourism NI has also delivered a Market Access Programme to support participation on sales platforms across the globe and funding has been provided to support the recovery of the cruise market and conference and business tourism.
Tourism NI’s new Experience Development Programme is supporting providers to invest in new or enhanced offerings while, along with DAERA, the agency has been successfully running a Website Development Programme to allow attractions and experience providers to improve their ability to secure business online.
Commenting on progress, Tourism NI Chief Executive John McGrillen said; “A significant body of work has been undertaken since recovery plans were launched in May and I wish to thank all involved across Government, industry and our partner tourism agencies for their tireless efforts. In addition to work to date, we are also excited to be involved in the ambitious tourism plans under the City and Growth Deals in support of world class experiences across Northern Ireland including the Mourne Mountain Gateway Project, the Derry North Atlantic Museum, The Gobbins Phase II, Hillsborough Village and the Belfast Destination Hub”.
“Attracting and developing a highly skilled and engaged workforce is also critical to recovery plans, and Tourism NI is working towards a major recruitment and awareness campaign to promote the range of opportunities and career pathways in the sector, and help address some of the skills shortages facing businesses which I look forward to launching with our partners in early 2022”.
Mr McGrillen added; “After what has been a very challenging eighteen months the announcement that the Open will be returning in 2025 is also a great vote of confidence in Northern Ireland by the R&A. This is something to truly look forward to and we will be working closely with the tourism industry to maximise benefits across Northern Ireland”.
Following updates from Tourism NI, the Tourism in Action event included a panel discussion with guest panellists Joanne Stuart, Northern Ireland Tourism Alliance, Janice Gault, Northern Ireland Hotels Federation and Shane Clarke, Tourism Ireland.