Hospitality Ireland Presents Round-Up Of Tourism NI News
Hospitality Ireland presents a round-up of Tourism NI news.
Northern Ireland Tourism Takes Centre Stage At Media Event
In a statement published on its website, Tourism NI said, "Northern Ireland tourism took centre stage yesterday evening, 3rd November 2021 in an immersive media event hosted at Belfast's St George's Market.
"Media participants were guided through some of the leading family friendly experiences to be enjoyed this Autumn and Winter.
"Belfast's historic attraction was transformed as guests stepped through a wardrobe into Narnia's winter wonderland, complete with faun. From C.S. Lewis' fantasy world, participants were transported into ‘nature’ as they mingled with the Cranfield Alpacas and learnt all about the cuddly creatures.
"Next stop was a crash course in living off the land, with expert bushman Rob Hill from the nature experience at Finnebrogue Woods Bushcraft and Wild Cooking. Young and old attendees got hands on with essential survival and woodland bushcraft skills, including campcraft and shelter building.
"Guests moved on to a recreation of one of Northern Ireland’s most loved attractions, the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, before seeing live demonstrations by Belfast’s award-winning science and discovery centre, W5.
"Baking was on the menu, as Tracey's Farmhouse Kitchen on Strangford Lough was recreated. Tracey Jeffrey guided the audience through demonstrations of homemade buttermilk soda bannock and hearty wheaten bread.
"As guests enjoyed refreshments, including drinks from MacIvors Cider and Portavogie scampi, County Down magician and TikTok sensation Joel M, mesmerised the crowds with his unique repertoire of magic tricks.
"Tourism NI Director of Marketing Naomi Waite said, 'It was a pleasure to be able to physically host members of the media once again and bring a flavour of some of our fantastic Northern Ireland family experiences together.
'We want to inspire people to embrace our giant spirit and the very best of Northern Ireland. The event showcased our wonderful attractions, as well as our world class food and drink and the giant spirit of our people.
'There is so much happening here throughout the autumn and winter months, from stand-out experiences in our world-renowned attractions to new and unique activities on our doorstep, your next giant adventure is just a small step away!'
"Discover Northern Ireland has a range of experiences that will allow you to truly Embrace our Giant Spirit and make memories this Autumn and Winter. For more inspiration visit: www.discovernorthernireland.com
"Always follow current COVID-19 travel advice and guidelines before planning and while visiting. Visit nidirect.gov.uk and check that the provider has been accredited with the 'We're Good to Go' industry standard."
Tourism NI Launches Programme To Support Tourism Business Recovery In NI
In a separate statement published on its website, Tourism NI said, "Tourism NI has launched a new programme to help tourism businesses in Northern Ireland assess the impacts of COVID-19 and develop a strategic business and financial recovery plan. The programme is aimed at small to medium sized tourism businesses with a turnover between 50k to 100k.
"The COVID Business and Financial Planning Support Programme will provide successful applicants with advisory and mentoring help to develop recovery plans. This programme is one of a series of initiatives launched by Tourism NI this year to support the industry in Northern Ireland to rebuild, recover and compete in a dynamic and challenging business environment.
"Commenting on the programme, Tourism NI's Development Officer, Oliver McKeown, said, 'Tourism businesses are in need of advisory and mentoring support to inform critical and major decisions now, and to ensure longer-term sustainability. Whilst the past few months have been positive for the sector, many businesses continue to face challenges as they seek to rebuild. The tourism market has changed significantly, therefore businesses now need to adapt to help cope with changing consumer demands.'
"He added, 'Tourism NI's new programme will provide much needed support to those businesses by putting plans in place that best position them for recovery.'
The COVID Business and Financial Support Programme is now open to existing tourism businesses operating in Northern Ireland. This process will be fully funded by Tourism NI through its Tourism Enterprise Development Programme, a series of tailored support designed specifically for the tourism and hospitality industry in Northern Ireland.
"The closing date for applications is 3pm on 22nd November 2021."
NI Economy Minister Attends World Travel Market In London
In another statement published on its website, Tourism NI said, "Economy Minister Gordon Lyons has joined Tourism Ireland and 12 tourism businesses from Northern Ireland at World Travel Market (WTM) in London.
"WTM heralds the beginning of Northern Ireland's promotional drive overseas for the year ahead. As we restart travel from overseas, Northern Ireland's presence at World Travel Market is more important than ever this year. Every destination across the globe has experienced the impact of COVID-19 and is now seeking its share of the recovery. Northern Ireland is therefore aiming to capture the attention of the global media and travel professionals in attendance.
"This year, WTM is a hybrid event - with the live event taking place over three days between the 1-3 November, and the virtual meetings taking place on 8-9 November. In all, some 25 Northern Ireland tourism companies will engage in important meetings with GB and international tour operators to negotiate and exchange vital contracts for 2022.
"Economy Minister Gordon Lyons said, 'I welcome the opportunity to be here in person at World Travel Market in London. The scale of this important event in the tourism calendar has brought home to me the competition we face as we continue in our journey to restore the tourism sector to the success it was prior to the pandemic. Our tourism and hospitality industries were particularly hard hit by the pandemic and necessary restrictions however I am pleased that we have started the road to recovery and travellers are returning to our shores.
"'My Department and I work closely with both Tourism Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland and over the last decade have undertaken extensive marketing campaigns to promote Northern Ireland as an international travel destination. Northern Ireland has captured the attention of the global travel industry with awards from Lonely Planet to National Geographic and we have hosted many major conferences, sporting and cultural events. Most recently I was pleased to welcome the news that The Open would return to Portrush in 2025. With this positive news I am confident we will soon be welcoming the record visitor numbers of 2019.'
"'Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said, 'As we restart tourism from overseas, we are delighted that Minister Lyons is joining us this week at World Travel Market, the world's largest travel fair. The representation of Northern Ireland companies at WTM is extremely welcome - and essential in the highly competitive international marketplace. Every destination across the globe has experienced the impact of COVID-19 and is now seeking its share of the recovery. Tourism Ireland's aim, therefore, is to stand out from the crowd and to capture the attention of the global media and travel professionals in attendance.
"'This autumn, Tourism Ireland has been rolling out a £5 million promotional programme in GB, highlighting Northern Ireland's great cities, spectacular scenery and the many things to see and do. Our 'Green Button' campaign is now under way in GB, with an extensive programme of activity which will reach 46 million people and will continue to drive awareness of Northern Ireland as a great destination for a short break or holiday.'
"Before COVID-19, overseas tourism delivered about £566 million per year for the Northern Ireland economy, helping to sustain valuable employment in local communities.
© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.