Tourism NI has launched a new scheme to drive innovation, sustainability and competitiveness amongst tourism businesses.
In a statement published on its website, Tourism NI said, "Tourism NI has launched a major new scheme to drive innovation, sustainability and competitiveness amongst tourism businesses as the industry looks to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Kick Start programme will run until March 2022 and will provide free access to a range of advice and support.
"Commenting on the launch of the new programme, Tourism NI's Director of Strategic Development, David Roberts, said, 'We are delighted to offer this additional support to the tourism industry at this critical time. Whilst it has been a positive few months for the sector, we know that many businesses continue to face considerable challenges as they seek to rebuild and look to the future. It is hoped that by 2022 we will see a more sustained period of recovery, with international visitors returning in significant numbers as well as continued success in closer to home markets.
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"'Through the Recovery Kick Start programme, we are partnering with a range of business and financial experts to provide fully funded, bespoke support. Eligible businesses will receive a one to one diagnostic assessment with a Tourism NI allocated adviser, including a financial health check. An action plan and scope of work will then be agreed within the four priority areas. Participants may then be invited to apply for further funding, subject to budget availability, to implement agreed business interventions recommended during the Kick Start programme.'
"Kick Start will cover four key areas:
- "Business Model Restructuring - to allow tourism businesses to examine and review their existing business model to drive efficiencies and improvements in how the business operates
- "Digital Innovation and Productivity - to enable tourism businesses to adopt new digital technology and innovations that can help them to operate more efficiently, enable or accelerate the development of new products, processes, or services, give access to new markets and help to safeguard and create jobs
- "Recruitment and Talent Development - to empower tourism businesses to implement staff recruitment, talent development and staff training action plans.
- "Environmental Sustainability - to support tourism businesses to implement environmental management and sustainability initiatives that will enable them to reduce costs, improve productivity and deliver a competitive advantage."
Tourism NI added, "The Kick Start programme is open to existing tourism business operating in Northern Ireland. The closing date for receipt of Expression of Interest forms is 3pm on Friday 12th November 2021."
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