The report presented today tells us clearly that we must give visitors a compelling reason to experience Northern Ireland now – not some day – and we need to equip potential visitors with all the information they need to plan and book their short breaks here.
Key figures from the tourism industry including hoteliers, visitor attraction providers, local authorities and destination organisations gathered at Belfast Waterfront today (Tuesday) to hear the findings of the “Republic of Ireland Taskforce”.
The Taskforce was commissioned by Tourism NI and charged with unlocking the potential for tourism growth from Northern Ireland’s closest export market.
The report outlines a strategy to increase revenue from the Republic of Ireland market to £140 million by 2025 by:
- Engaging with the tourist industry in Northern Ireland to develop a focused and collaborative approach
- Develop a range of tourist offerings that rivals what is available in the Republic of Ireland
- Investing in a compelling and unique destination brand that appeals to highly targeted groups of consumers.
Tourism NI Chairman Terence Brannigan said: “We welcome the findings of the Republic of Ireland Taskforce and the ambitious targets set out in this report, which provides practical steps for both Tourism NI and the industry as a whole to maximise the potential of this market.
“In the first half of this year alone Tourism NI’s Say Hello To More marketing campaign helped deliver 221,000 overnight trips by Republic of Ireland residents to Northern Ireland, contributing £40 million to the economy. While we have experienced growth in recent years, progress has been sporadic in our closest-to-home export market. We also face a strong competitor in the Republic of Ireland as a destination.”
He added: “We need the support of the whole industry to join with us and help promote this part of the island as a must-see destination to Republic of Ireland visitors.”
Tourism NI will host a series of regional workshops based on the report findings in 2018, outlining perceptions, challenges and how the tourist industry can collaborate to maximise growth.
Achieving the target in the Republic of Ireland market would contribute to the overall target of £1 billion export revenue per annum from Northern Ireland tourism as a whole by 2025.
Urging the tourist industry to get behind future campaigns, Mr Brannigan said: “The results are clear – when we invest in maintaining a consistent profile in the marketplace we see spikes in visitor numbers and spend.”
The full report can be found at https://tourismni.com/media-centre/News/tourism-ni-welcomes-report-on-unlocking-potential-from-republic-of-ireland/