News

Valuing Tourism

23 April 2013

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Tourism Minister Arlene Foster has said the economic potential of tourism should be recognised at every level right across government, councils and industry stakeholders.

Speaking at the launch of the Value Tourism campaign, the Minister said the success of ni2012, the opening of world-class attractions and a programme of major events had created positive global media coverage, generating a new confidence in tourism.

Arlene Foster said: “We have to place value on what the visitor values, which is why it is important to consider tourism in a collective, cross-cutting way. Visitors’ expectations impact on a range of Executive departments, agencies, councils and, of course, the industry.

“Understanding visitor expectations and priorities is extremely important for anyone who has a role that can enhance the visitor experience. This ‘bigger picture’ should also be considered by anyone whose decisions, strategies or policies have the capacity to create opportunities to spread the benefits of tourism.

“Our collective goal must be to make sure Northern Ireland has the key requirements in place to compete on the international stage, and to be able to present ‘our place’ as a globally unique and compelling destination.”

Arlene Foster said her Department, the Executive, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB), together with the private sector and the industry, had worked hard in recent years to showcase Northern Ireland as a great place to visit, live, work, study and invest.

The Minister added: “Together, we have put tourism in a strong position, but we are not complacent and recognise there is much more to do. Those connected to tourism should pull out all the stops to provide visitors with experiences that are unique to us - experiences that reveal our character, share our legends, our cultural and creative vibe, our excellent outdoor activities and, of course, our coasts, lakes and wonderful natural environment.

“As Tourism Minister I urge all my Executive colleagues, local government, business and relevant stakeholders to embrace this initiative and work together to recognise the long term value of tourism.”

The document can be downloaded from http://www.nitb.com/valuingtourism

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