Year-Round Tourism Plan Needed for Northern Ireland
Published on Mar 23 2015 10:32 AM in Hotel
Northern Irish hospitality businesses need to make plans to encourage tourism all year round, urges one expert, as the city is lined up to host a number of events over the coming months.
A range of key attractions will be held in Northern Ireland this year, including the Irish Open golf tournament in Co. Down as well as the music festival Belsonic in Belfast.
Rohit Talwar of consultancy Fast Future says, according to the Belfast Telegraph, that while these events will fill hotels and restaurants, there needs to be a long-term plan in place to maximize tourism year-round.
Speaking at the tourism summit in Belfast, organised by the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation, Talwar told those present that tourism providers need to come together to create packages for repeat tourism.
"If you are a hotel you have to sell rooms every single day all across the year, and not just during the big events," said Talwar. "It's all about being creative in how you partner with other attractions to create specialised offerings."
Talwar advised highlighting some of Northern Ireland's historical sites as well as its food offerings. Smaller events, he said, need to be boosted even more as the funding that goes into the promotion of big events - such as the Tall Ships Races in July - could be reduced.
The Northern Ireland Executive aims to make tourism a £1 billion industry by 2020. Around £756m was spent on overnight trips in Northern Ireland between October 2013 and September 2014.