Northern Ireland launches £1M tourism campaign


Tourism chiefs have launched a £1 million campaign aimed at encouraging people across Ireland to holiday north of the border.

The Northern Ireland Tourist Board’s (NITB) spring marketing drive hopes to tempt holidaymakers despite the difficult economic climate.

Tourism Minister Arlene Foster said the campaign was part of wider efforts to double the visitor revenue to an annual £1 billion by 2020.

The major advertising campaign will try to persuade residents of the north and south to holiday in Northern Ireland.

The minister said: “The tourism industry in Northern Ireland has shown great resilience throughout a challenging economic period.

“Competition for visitors is intense but the NITB’s spring campaign will support growth by promoting key attractions. We are striving to grow visitor revenue to £1 billion and increase visitor numbers to 4.5 million over the next decade.”

Figures from 2009 showed overseas visitors to Northern Ireland generated £159 million, while tourist numbers drawn from the Republic and Britain helped bring in £337 million.

Officials hope the completion of signature projects including the visitors’ centre at the Giant’s Causeway and the opening of the Titanic visitor attraction will help boost tourism numbers from the current figure of around 3.2 million.

The minister said: “Our targets are ambitious, but we in tourism believe in setting the bar high.

“Crucial to delivering these targets will be our unique and outstanding visitor experiences, many of which are showcased in NITB’s spring campaign. Increased visitor numbers mean more people spending more money, which ultimately benefits the local economy.”