The Mid Ulster Tourism Cluster, consisting of 14 businesses working together to showcase the people and experiences in the region, officially revealed its brand, LoughinSholin, at this year's World Travel Market.
The cluster is supported by Invest Northern Ireland through its Collaborative Growth Programme.
Set in the giant heart of mid-Ulster, LoughinSholin is an ancient barony in Northern Ireland that can be traced back to 12th century. The brand reflects a sense of place as well as a commitment to preserve and promote the generations of heritage and traditions found in the region.
LoughinSholin businesses are committed to a passion for excellence and a desire to deliver tourism experiences and accommodations that are truly memorable. The 14 businesses involved are Friel's Bar & Restaurant, Seamus Heaney HomePlace, Ballyscullion Park, Glenshane Country Farm, Heaney Farmhouse Brewery, Lough Neagh Eels, River Bann Tours, Broagh Tours, Ardtara Country House, Bakehouse NI, Glenavon House Hotel, Tap House, Walsh’s Hotel and J&K Coaches.
The LoughinSholin cluster's focus for the future will be to develop and promote a range of authentic visitor experiences and itineraries that will showcase the history and heritage of the region, and increase visitors and length of stay in mid-Ulster. It will also commit and deliver to promoting sustainable tourism, and work collaboratively with the Tourism NI Embrace A Giant Spirit and Mid Ulster District Council Unwinding Time brands.
Dermot Friel, chair of LoughinSholin Tourism Cluster and owner of Friel's Bar & Restaurant, said, "On behalf of the LoughinSholin cluster we were delighted to officially reveal the brand at this year's World Travel Market in London. Our aim and focus is to showcase all the businesses involved, work collaboratively on new innovations, and drive ongoing development. All of this will help us to promote the rich, diverse and authentic experiences that awaits visitors in this wonderful place."
Niall Casey, Invest NI's director of skills & competitiveness, said, "We are pleased to support the LoughinSholin cluster through our Collaborative Growth Programme. The programme is providing support to LoughinSholin to enable it to leverage its collective expertise and local assets which will support the delivery of an exciting portfolio of tourism offerings. These new experiences will not only enhance the mid-ulster tourism ecosystem but also add to Tourism NI's Embrace the Giant Spirit portfolio."
Tourism NI CEO John McGrillen said, "Tourism NI welcomes the ongoing collaboration of tourism businesses in this area. Our experience brand, Northern Ireland Embrace a Giant Spirit, centres on authentic experiences in local communities and this tourism cluster will certainly underpin this strategic direction, creating immersive experiences for our visitors as we look forward to 2023."