Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster has said the North West 200’s status as one of the top international road racing events will ensure Northern Ireland remains a magnet for bike fans from across the world.
Speaking at the launch of this year’s event at Titanic Belfast, Arlene Foster said: “The North West 200 has become an iconic event, offering road facing fans the chance to come to Northern Ireland and see the sport’s top riders in action in one of the most beautiful parts of the world.
“For that reason, it has an extremely important role to play in contributing to tourism and the economy. Not only does it attract tourists from far and near, coverage of the race also showcases our breathtakingly beautiful scenery on an international audience.
“My Department, through the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, wants to develop, attract and support events which are capable of generating substantial visitor expenditure, visitor numbers and market Northern Ireland as a ‘must-see’ destination – and the North West 200 certainly does that.”
Practice for the Vauxhall International 2014 NW200 begins on Tuesday 13 May with a second session the following Thursday. There will be three races on Thursday evening with the main race programme of five races being run on Saturday 17 May.
Paying tribute to the race organisers, Arlene Foster added: “Events like the North West 200 do not just happen – a tremendous amount of hard work goes on behind the scenes by people with a passion for the sport and a commitment to promoting Northern Ireland’s tourism product on the international stage.
“I wish the organisers every success and trust that the weather will be a little kinder to us this year.”]]>