Hospitality Ireland presents a round-up of Tourism NI news.
Tourism NI Launches Website Development Programme For Accommodation Providers
In a statement published on its website, Tourism NI said, "Tourism NI has launched a new website development programme for accommodation providers as part of its ongoing drive to support the sector’s recovery and growth. The closing date for applications is 3pm on 29th November 2021.
"With capital grants available of up to £40,000, the programme is designed to help accommodation providers including hotels, guesthouses and guest accommodation enhance their websites as well as market and sell their services online.
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"Following an Expression of Interest process successful applicants will receive an expert digital audit, followed by a website development plan, one to one mentoring support and financial assistance.
"Commenting on the programme, Tourism NI's Regions Manager, Ainsley McWilliams, said, 'We are delighted to open the programme for accommodation providers across Northern Ireland. To market and sell Northern Ireland in a post COVID-19 environment, businesses must recognise that consumer demand is constantly changing and that there is an increased desire to visit and book differently. A user-friendly website is now an essential requirement for doing business in the tourism industry. The programme will also help create positive first impressions and an improved booking experience for visitors, in line with the 'Northern Ireland-Embrace A Giant Spirit' experience brand.'
"She added, 'We welcome and encourage applications from eligible accommodation providers who want to enhance their digital presence as well as support the recovery of the sector.'
"The closing date for applications is 3pm on 29th November 2021."
Tourism NI Successfully Bids To Host AGM For ITOA
In a separate statement published on its website, Tourism NI said, "Tourism NI has successfully bid to host the Annual General Meeting (AGM) for ITOA (Incoming Tour Operators Association) Council Members in January 2022 at the Galgorm Spa and Golf Resort - the first face to face ITOA AGM since 2020.
"This annual meeting brings together the members of the association, who are Ireland based tour operators who package and promote to over 4,000 global travel trade partners and customers. This will be their first face to face AGM since 2020 and the bid to host this event has been made possible through the Tourism Recovery Action Plan.
"Tourism NI work closely with ITOA to promote additional programming of Northern Ireland on the members' itineraries and this year has already seen a range of sales and marketing activities designed to bring together ITOA members and local tourism businesses. Today (17 November) will see 104 tourism businesses from Northern Ireland engage in 2000 virtual appointments to promote their experience or property to ITOA members.
"Tourism NI's Business Solutions Executive Officer, Dawn Corrigan, said, 'In 2019, ITOA members delivered over £500 million of business and 704,500 promotable visitors to the island of Ireland, making the association’s members a vital part of the growth of the tourism industry in Northern Ireland. International tourism business is a vital part of our tourism economy as it generates regional spread and encourages mid-week year-round spend which is highly valued by industry partners.'
"She added, 'We want to continue to provide this platform for our tourism providers so they can tap into a global distribution which allows them to promote and sell their business as well as Northern Ireland to key oversea markets. This will be the third time that the prestigious AGM has been held in Northern Ireland and we look forward to welcoming ITOA council members in the new year.'
"ITOA President, Rob Rankin said, 'We are really delighted to have our first in person AGM meeting and members gathering in Northern Ireland and Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort to look forward to in January 2022. Our AGM is an important event in ITOA’s calendar as it provides the opportunity for members to spend time meeting and experiencing the destination that we are located. Tourism Northern Ireland's ongoing support and engagement with ITOA and our members, in providing important networking opportunities like our workshops has been really important. It ensures that Northern Ireland remains high on our members radar to promote to our existing overseas partners and positions the destination to capitalise on expected recovery in 2022.'
"For more information on how Tourism NI can support businesses visit: www.tourismni.com/contact-us/covid-19-business-support-helpline/
© 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.